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Study: Income Inequality In Fairfield County Highest In Nation

Income inequality is the widest in the nation in Fairfield County.
Income inequality is the widest in the nation in Fairfield County. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The gap between the rich and the poor in Fairfield County is wider than any other place in the nation, as a new study about income inequality by real estate website Trulia reveals.

The study compared the incomes of rich, median, and poor households in the 100 largest metros in 2012, 2006, 2000, and 1990. Rich homes defined as being at the 90th percentile – which means being above 90 percent of all households in the metro; the median is at the 50th percentile, while poor is defined as at the 10th percentile.

According to the study, the 90th percentile's wealth in Fairfield County was 18.5 times greater than the 10th percentile.

Fairfield County also saw the second-largest increase in income inequality over the course of the study, rising by seven times since 1990.

The county topped the list due to the low amount of affordable housing for households in the 50th percentile and below as well as the stark comparison between household wealth in Bridgeport and surrounding towns such as Darien and New Canaan.

According to the report, one-third of all children live below the poverty line in Bridgeport.

On average, the 90th percentile to 10th percentile gap has increased from 10 times to 12.2 times greater in the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S.

Fairfield County was one of three Connecticut metro areas that were on the top ten list for biggest income equality gaps, with the New Haven metro area ranked eighth and the Hartford metro area ranked tenth.

Two other New England metro areas were on the list, including the Boston and Springfield, Mass., metro areas.

The Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla., metro region had the lowest income inequality gap.

Click here to read the full Trulia study .