According to a U.S. Census Bureau report, Atlanta had the highest income inequality rate in the country from 2005 to 2009, just ahead of New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and Miami.
The widening gap between the rich and poor in Atlanta is driven by high unemployment in an economy that is creating few jobs and gentrification — new, expensive housing which has put wealth and poverty in the same neighborhoods, reports the AJC. But the numbers are skewed by tens of thousands of college students within the city’s limits, who often have no income.
Metro Atlanta’s sprawling suburbs fared far differently than the city of Atlanta. The metro area had lower income inequality than the nationwide average of metro areas during the five-year period. New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Houston and Memphis ranked as the top five metro areas highest in income inequality.
The wealth gap in America has been at the core of the Occupy Wall Street movement that started in New York and spread to Atlanta and several other cities in the U.S. and around the world.