Income Inequality in Washington D.C.
- Washington D.C. is one of the states in America with the highest level of income inequality
- Minorities are affected the most by the wealth gap
- The D.C. Gini coefficient is very high
Now, allow me to explain these facts in a more detailed way...
According to the article, “The Wealth Gap Is Painfully Obvious In Washington D.C.,” the District of Columbia has had a large wealth gap for many years. Ian Simpson writes that it “had the third-widest gap between wealthy and poor among the 50 biggest U.S. cities, trailing Boston and Atlanta, according to a 2012 Fiscal Policy Institute analysis”. Also, the Gini coefficient (a measure of inequality) clearly reflects the wealth disparities among D.C. residents. A coefficient of 0 indicates perfect equality while a coefficient of 1 indicates perfect inequality. The Gini coefficient of Washington D.C. was 0.542 in 2016 (Naveed). The level of income inequality has not drastically improved over the years.
To add onto this, people who are already in poverty or those who are a part of the minority populations are probably affected the worst by the increasing wealth gap of the U.S. According to the article, “Income Inequality in DC Highest in the Country,” the poverty rate is way worse for Black and Latinx residents than White residents. In fact, “the poverty rate for white District residents is 7.9 percent,” but it is “27.9 percent—nearly four times higher—for Black residents, and 17.8 percent—more than twice as high—for the Latinx community”. In this statistic, we can clearly see how race plays a large factor in poverty rates. If you are of a minority population, you are more likely to struggle economically according to D.C. poverty rates. Privilege also applies to economic inequality because those who have it can sometimes be blind to the struggles of the poor. It is important to check your privilege in order to be a more well-rounded person and in order to help those around you.