A new report from the California Budget and Policy Center finds that a widening income gap is a concern for nearly all metropolitan and rural areas in California.
Since 1989, most or all income gains have gone to the highest-income households—the top 1 percent—in regions that have seen substantial economic growth, such as the San Francisco Bay area.
According to the Central Valley Business Times, the report measures three levels of income disparities: the level of inequality, as measured by the gap between the average incomes of the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent; the change in the average incomes of the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent since 1989; and the share of total income captured by the top 1 percent since 1989.
“All three metrics show that California’s income growth has been heavily weighted toward the state’s highest-income residents, especially in the wealthiest regions,” the report says.
The largest inequalities in California are in the San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose metropolitan regions. The largest gap is in the San Francisco metro area, the average income of the top 1 percent of households—$3.6 million in 2013—was 44 times the average income of the bottom 99 percent ($81,094).
“Despite significant variation across California’s urban and rural areas, nearly all of these areas are far more unequal than they were a generation ago,” the report says. “While the most extreme income disparities are found in the higher-growth metropolitan areas where the ultra-wealthy live, such as Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Los Angeles, the benefits of economic growth are increasingly concentrated in the hands of the top 1 percent. Meanwhile, the bottom 99 percent of households are falling behind in almost all other regions in California.”
Read the full report: http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/links/INCOME%20INEQUALITY%20IN%20CALIFORNIA.pdf