Baton Rouge’s vast wealth gap growing at faster rate than in almost every other US city, report says

Baton Rouge’s top 20% of income-earners are paid, on average, $185,800 more per year than the city’s bottom 20% of income-earners—the tenth fastest-growing rich-poor wealth gap of all metropolitan areas in the United States, according to a Bloomberg report.

In just five years, Baton Rouge lept from No. 56 to No. 10 on the list. The distance between the city’s “rich” (top 20%) and “poor” (bottom 20%) has widened by $43,000 since 2011, when the gap was about a $142,800 difference in annual income.

However, the distance between Baton Rouge’s “super rich,” or the top 5% of local income-earners, and its “middle class,” or the middle 20%, is even larger—and it’s widening, too.

The “super-rich” earned $297,000 more per year than the “middle-class” in 2016, compared to a $191,800 earnings difference in 2011. This wealth gap is the fourth-fastest-growing in the United States, with a five-year increase of more than $105,000.

San Jose, California, led all metropolitan areas in the fastest-growing rich-poor gap, which increased by another $74,000 since 2011. The super-rich-middle-class gap is widening the quickest in Bridgeport, Connecticut, by $132,500 in the same time frame.

The report also examined where in the top 100 metropolitan areas the middle-class income brackets had widened the most. Baton Rouge did not make it to the top 10 on that list.

Check out the full Bloomberg report, which is based on Census Bureau data, here.

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