Miami-Dade County

Report: Miami is fourth-most unequal city in the country in terms of income

A protestor in Fort Lauderdale marches in an Occupy Wall Street protest in 2011.
A protestor in Fort Lauderdale marches in an Occupy Wall Street protest in 2011. AP

The gap between rich and poor in Miami is one of the widest in the nation, according to a new study by the Brookings Institution, a Washington D.C.-based think tank.

In 2013, Miamians in the 95th percentile of income earners made 14.8 times as much as those in the 20th percentile, the study found. Only Atlanta (19.2), San Francisco (17.1) and Boston (15.0) had a greater disparity.

A Miamian in the 95th percentile earned $169,855 in 2013, the most recent year for which data was available. By comparison, someone in the 20th percentile in Miami took home just $11,497.

Miami’s wealth-gap ratio shrank slightly from 2012, when it was 15.7 percent, the third-highest in the nation.

The study examined incomes in the 50 largest cities nationwide and found that high-income earners have largely regained wages lost during the recession but that low-income earners have not.

“These findings confirm that income inequality remains a salient issue in many big cities today,” concluded the report’s authors Alan Berube and Natalie Holmes. “Moreover, they lend support to the concern that rising incomes at the top of the distribution are not — at least in the short term — lifting earnings near the bottom, even in local markets.”

The large cities with the smallest gap between rich and poor in 2013 were Virginia Beach, Va., Colorado Springs, Colo., and Mesa, Ariz, according to the study.

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