Atlanta Now Ranks as the City in America With the Highest Income Disparity

Connor Maloney, Staff Writer

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   Atlanta now ranks as the city in America with the highest income inequality. This study comes from Bloomberg, who defined large cities as cities with over 250,000 people living in them based on the U.S. Census Bureau.

   Two of the largest causes of this income inequality include the high rates of unemployment in Atlanta and the high level of education.High unemployment in Atlanta is due to the economy creating very few jobs in the area, leading to many people with no or unstable employment, with inconsistent hours. A large number of people competing for such a low number of jobs also drives down the wages, because if one person was to leave for any reason, such as wanting a raise or unsafe conditions, there would be several others waiting to take their spot for lower or equal pay. Technology also brings down the number of jobs at all levels, such as McDonald’s ordering kiosks removing the need for cashiers, and machines being used to produce expensive computer parts or vehicles removing the need for manual labor. Even at the higher levels of job competition, there is still a large number of people competing for any given job, driving down the wages for skilled workers.

   Some smaller causes for this include gentrification and a large number of college students in Atlanta. Gentrification is the process of improving or renovating apartments that are usually lower-costing, driving up the price and making them unaffordable for lower-income people, as well as putting the rich and poor in the same neighborhoods. A large number of college students also has its own effect on income disparity, as many students have only low-income or part-time employment, or none at all.

   Atlanta contains all of these issues, making it the perfect grounds and certainly not unexpectable as the city with the highest income inequality in America.

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