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Friday, February 21, 2014

Confirmed: San Francisco's Wealthiest Residents Are Too Damn Rich

Posted By on Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 8:26 AM

click to enlarge A windy day in the Marina
  • A windy day in the Marina

With all this talk about wealth, gentrification, and Google buses, we thought this informative LA Times video report about income gaps was a nice wrap to the discussion.

The newspaper confirmed, using U.S. Census from 2012, that San Francisco was among the top cities where the income gap was the widest. In other words, the rich are too rich and the poor are too poor here in San Francisco.

According to the report, San Francisco's wealthy residents earned 15 times more than people in the low-income bracket.

The newspaper's discovery originated from the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit policy research group, which released a study yesterday with more details on the rich-poor problems plaguing some of the nation's most vibrant cities. It said cities that have these sort of inequalities will no doubt face some serious problems -- and we're not just talking about Google buses.

Per the Institution:

There are many ways of looking at inequality statistically; one useful way to measure it across places is by using the "95/20 ratio." This figure represents the income at which a household earns more than 95 percent of all other households, divided by the income at which a household earns more than only 20 percent of all other households. In other words, it represents the distance between a household that just cracks the top 5 percent by income, and one that just falls into the bottom 20 percent. Over the past 35 years, members of the former group have generally experienced rising incomes, while those in the latter group have seen their incomes stagnate.

San Francisco's ratio is high because its wealthy households have very high incomes, considerably higher than in any other major city ($353,000 at the 95th percentile).

And now for a depressing map (click to enlarge your misfortune):

  • Brookings Institution

And more:


And, no, we didn't reach out to Tom Perkins for comment.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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