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Bay Area income inequality gap eclipses U.S.

grey and white coverNew data from Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies

July 28, 2015 – The latest tech boom has stretched the Bay Area’s income inequality gap to its widest level in decades, according to a new study from Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s Institute for Regional Studies.

The Institute’s research brief, “Income Inequality in the San Francisco Bay Area,” found that average incomes among the highest-earning Bay Area households are $149,000 higher than they are nationwide ($489,000 here compared to $340,000 in the U.S.).

The gap between high-income and low-income households is much wider ($263,000 compared to the $178,000 in the U.S.), the study reported.

Average incomes among the top five percent of Bay Area households are $473,000, 31.5 times higher than the average incomes in the bottom 20 percent, compared to a difference of just $328,000 in the U.S. overall.

"Both this brief and our recently released report on poverty in the Bay Area provide a comprehensive look at the low degree to which our region's prosperity is shared,” said Rachel Massaro, Joint Venture vice president and senior research associate for the Institute.a

“Although income inequality in the Bay Area is comparable to measured inequality in the rest of the state and nation, it has been increasing much faster in the Bay Area over the last 20 years,” said Jon Haveman, a principal at Marin Economic Consulting, who authored the study.

About the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies

The Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies provides research and analysis on a host of issues facing Silicon Valley’s economy and society. The Institute is housed within Joint Venture Silicon Valley. For more information, visit www.siliconvalleyindicators.org.

 

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