Income Inequality

Growing income inequality is the result of educational disparities, stagnant wage growth in middle and lower class jobs, and a higher emphasis on creating a skilled workforce. Economists are divided on whether the implications of income inequality are positive or negative. Income inequality is the ratio of the average income of the top 20% of the population to the average income of the bottom 20% of the population.

Peer City Perspective

Louisville ranks 9th among its peer cities in income inequality. The average income of the top 20% of Louisville residents is 15.7 times greater than the average income of the bottom 20%.

Louisville ranks among the middle tier on this metric according to a natural breaks algorithm. Cities in green are those that outperform their peers, cities in yellow represent the middle cluster, and those in red are a group that lags behind its peers on this indicator.

Trends Over Time

Income inequality in Louisville has been decreasing since 2013, returning to the same level as measured in 2007. Income inequality in Louisville has decreased from the peer mean and is approaching the 25th percentile.

Comparison Between the Most and Least Improved Cities

The average peer city saw a slight increase in the income inequality ratio between 2007 and 2016. Columbus, the most improved city, saw a small decrease. Indianapolis, the least improved city, saw its income inequality ratio increase from 13.6 to 17.1.