Philadelphia was ranked the third worst city for income inequality in the United States this year, according to a recent Bloomberg analysis.
The Bloomberg analysis ranked U.S. cities with populations of at least 250,000 based on their Gini coefficient, a U.S. Census Bureau ratio that measures the distribution of household incomes.
In Philadelphia, only 8.2 percent of households earned at least $150,000, while 19.5 percent earned incomes in the bottom percentiles, Bloomberg reported. Although some household incomes in the city have risen, experts say high poverty and unemployment rates still persist in other neighborhoods.
"Philadelphia is gentrifying right now. It was a poorer and struggling city for quite a long time, and now, there are more high-paying jobs and more amenities in and around the center," Alan Berube, senior fellow and director of the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program, told Bloomberg. However, he noted, “vast amounts of North Philadelphia still have high levels of unemployment."
Philadelphia also continues to face high poverty rates. Although national poverty rates have fallen as a whole, the poverty rate in Philadelphia has remained at 25.7 percent for the last two years, 22 points above the national rate, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
“The city that likes to imagine itself on the upswing — trying to lure Amazon here, gentrifying around Temple — is not changing. Wages are stagnating and people aren’t benefiting from economic growth,” Maria Kefalas, a sociology professor at St. Joseph University, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
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