Census: Conn. still among most unequal states; Median income decreased in 2013

New U.S. Census data out Thursday says Connecticut continues to be among the most unequal places in the country – behind just Washington, D.C. and New York.

Inequality is measured on a scale called the Gini Index. In the scale, a score of 0 would indicate a community is perfectly equal, meaning there’s a completely proportional distribution of income. A one one the Gini Index would mean a community is totally unequal – so one house would have all the income and everyone else would have nothing.

According to the new American Community Survey data, the level of inequality in Connecticut may have slightly increased, with the Gini Index going from .492 in 2012 to .499 in 2013. But the increase is within the margin of error, so it’s not statistically significant. This data map from the Connecticut State Data Center compares levels of inequality around the country, and the chart at the bottom compares them to inequality around the world.

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A map of inequality rates from 2012 is online here.

The new data show the percentage of people living in poverty in Connecticut remained steady from 2012 through last year, mirroring national statistics. 10.7 percent of Connecticut residents are living in poverty.

Nationally, 48.8 million people, about 16 percent, lived in poverty last year. A family of four is considered to be living in poverty if it brings in less than $23,830 in a year. For an individual, the number is less than $11,890.

In Connecticut, the median household income edged down slightly in 2013, to about $67,000 from $68,000 the year before. That’s still significantly higher than the national median amount – which was about $52,000 last year.

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