Income inequality: by the numbers

December 20, 2013

By Ireti Adesanya

Here are several data visualizations and interactive tables about income inequality in the United States and Virginia. All of the information below is based on data we extracted from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2008-2012 American Community Survey.

This map shows the Gini index — the level of income inequality — for each county and city in Virginia. Localities shaded in blue have the most inequality; localities in yellow have the least inequality.

Here is the Gini index for each U.S. state and county. Separately, we have provided the Gini index for each Virginia county. A higher index indicates greater income inequality.  On the list of all U.S. counties, for example, you can see that the city of Richmond has one of the highest Gini indexes in the nation. (The Census Bureau treats Virginia’s independent cities as counties.) Richmond also has the highest Gini index in Virginia. We have provided the numbers as a Google spreadsheet and as a Web page:

We have also provided the mean income for each quintile of households in each Virginia county. This shows the income for the average family in the bottom fifth of the population and the corresponding figure for the average family in the top fifth (as well as all the fifths in between). Here is the spreadsheet and the Web page.

This table shows what share of each county’s aggregate income goes to each quintile of the households in each Virginia county. Here is the Web page and the spreadsheet:

Look up your county’s income data

Here is a tool to examine all of the income-related data that we have compiled on each county.

Online Database by Caspio

Click here to load this Caspio Online Database.

We’d like to thank Caspio Inc. for helping us put this data on the Web. The company makes it easy for newspapers and other organizations to create online database applications. (The Richmond Times-Dispatch, for example, uses Caspio to give the public access to databases such as public employees’ salaries.) Caspio has given the VCU School of Mass Communications a complimentary academic account. That gift will help students get experience with the database application tools used in today’s newsrooms. It also will help us open newsworthy databases to the VCU community and the general public.

Main story: Income Inequality in Richmond