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GIS-bases study reveals income disparity in the US

US: According to a GIS-based study by the University of Redlands (U of R) in the US, people in more than half of the country’s ZIP codes experience above-average poverty. It can be viewed at a national level on an interactive map, hosted on ArcGIS Online, Esri’s cloud-based map and data service. Users can pan and zoom to the ZIP Code level.
Using data on average family size and amount of family income, found in the 2010 Esri data estimates from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), researchers at the university’s Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis (ISEA) approximated poverty levels by ZIP Code. “Since we cannot aim for exact precision, we approximated the share of people living below the poverty line,” says Johannes Moenius, the director of ISEA.
They found that poverty dominates the US landscape, especially in less populated areas. More than 50 percent of ZIP Codes in the country have above-average levels of poverty.
“We were interested in looking closer at income inequality, which has obviously become a hot-button issue for many Americans, as evident through the Occupy Wall Street movement,” said Carlo Carrascoso, a faculty fellow with the Banta Center for Business, Ethics and Society at the U of R in Redlands, California.
The rally cry of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, “We are the 99 percent,” refers to the difference in wealth and income growth in the US between the wealthiest 1 percent and the rest of the population.
A report released last month by the Congressional Budget Office showed that while the average American household income, after government transfers and federal taxes, rose by 62 percent between 1979 and 2007, income growth for the top (wealthiest) 1 percent of households grew by 275 percent, while the income growth for the bottom (poorest) 20 percent of households grew by only 18 percent. “The growth for the richest households was more than 15 times greater than that of the poorest,” said Carrascoso. Source: Esri