Atlantic Cities posted an interesting article on a research project from Humboldt State mapping hateful tweets. The interactive map can be found here. The maps illustrate the persistance of prejudice and hate in the US.
The above chart from the Washington Post article "Tree canopy’s density indicates wealth of D.C. neighborhoods" attempts to illustrate a correlation between tree coverage and income in D.C. In many ways this article states the obvious--wealthier neighborhoods tend to have more trees. The authors quote environmentalists' arguments about the benefits of trees and briefly mention real estate advantages. However, I think this issue deserves deeper explanation. This is an interesting research topic. Does tree coverage matter?
The Atlantic Cities posted "America's Most Post-Industrial Metros" listing the top 20 metro areas with populations over 1 million that score highest on the ratio of services to goods in America's continuing transition to a post-industrial economy.
The overall ratio of services to goods for the U.S. economy is approximately 3 to 1. The post-industrial economy is most prevalent in the Northeast corridor (Boston to Washington, DC). The Washington metro area is the highest with a ratio of 11.17. The New York metro follows with a ratio of 9.86. Interestingly, the Miami metro area follows with a ratio of 7.75.
The DC and NYC metro areas have a higher concentration of professionals, but I would guess that Miami has a higher ratio of service jobs in comparison to professional jobs. It would be interesting to compare income levels with the services to goods ratio to also consider rising inequality in post-industrial metro areas.
"The number of suburban residents living in poverty rose by nearly 64 percent between 2000 and 2011, to about 16.4 million people, according to a Brookings Institution analysis of 95 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. That’s more than double the rate of growth for urban poverty in those areas.
'I think we have an outdated perception of where poverty is and who it is affecting,' said Elizabeth Kneebone, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-author of the research. 'We tend to think of it as a very urban and a very rural phenomenon, but it is increasingly suburban.'"
The post features a mother and daughter in Connecticut--however, I am interested in the statistics for the Washington, D.C. area. I suspect that this is happening in the suburbs of the DC Metro area despite local news stories commending the area economy and low unemployment rate.
While revising the final chapter of my dissertation I came across some interesting data on income segregation by the Pew Research Center. Although Pew's research covers the entire United States (see 2012 report, "The Rise of Residential Segregation by Income") for this post I will focus on Washington, DC (where I currently reside).
The above map represents the Pew's Residential Income Segregation
Index (RISI) for Washington, DC. RISI is calculated by adding the rate of
lower-income households living in a majority lower-income tract and the rate of
upper-income households living in a majority upper-income tract. Red represents lower income tracts and blue higher income tracts. Washington's
score is 47 (the maximum score is 200) in comparison to the highest scoring metro areas, Houston and Dallas that have a RISI score of 61 and 60, respectively. Between 1980 and 2010, the Washington DC metro area population increased 78%, but the RISI scored only increased by 4.
The reports states that "the typical upper-income household is more likely to live
alongside other upper-income households, more than two-thirds of the
neighbors of the typical upper-income household in 2010 were either
middle income or lower-income households." Although Pew did not report detailed data on the DC metro area, further research on gentrification in the District in comparison to the surrounding area may explain why the DC metro area has a relatively low RISI score.
It is worth noting that residential segregation by race is still more prevalent than income. The report states that "[i]n 2010, 42% of blacks lived in a census tract that was majority black,
compared with 28% of low-income households living in a majority
low-income tract and 18% of upper-income households living in a majority
upper-income tract." This is still the case in the DC metro area. Yale Professor Bill Rankin's map illustrates the point:
The article Redefining Inequality So It Actually Means Something argues that the price of housing and housing policies contribute to inequality
by limiting the ability of low-wage earners to move to cities to have access to higher paying jobs. Living in NYC and Washington, DC as a graduate student and working part time I have experienced first hand the struggle to live in cities with high cost of living. However, I am fortunate to be part of a two income household and the possibility of a professional career. For the low-wage earners with limited resources and educational opportunities, that is not the case. Low-wage earners would benefit from reversing the income gap--income disparity cannot be ignored.