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Keeping track: income gap

Despite economic growth, inequality still spreads

As the economic juggernaut rolls along for most, some Americans continue to be left behind.

Below are the 10 states with the largest income gaps, according to report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The rating is determined by dividing the average top-fifth income by the average bottom-fifth income, resulting in a top-to-bottom income ratio. In New York, for example, the average income of the richest fifth of families ($152,350) is more than 14 times greater than the average income of bottom-fifth families ($10,770).

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RankState

1 New York

2 Arizona

3 New Mexico

4 Louisiana

5 California

6 Rhode Island

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7 Texas

8 Oregon

9 Kentucky

10 Virginia

Source: EPI/Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The gap is primarily due to growth in wage inequality, the report says. Wages at the middle and bottom of the scale have only recently begun to budge, while salaries for higher-paid employees have soared.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society


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