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Middle-Class Areas Shrink As Income Gap Grows

The portion of American families living in middle-income neighborhoods has declined significantly since 1970, according to a new study, as rising income inequality left a growing share of families in neighborhoods that are mostly low-income or mostly affluent.
The study, conducted by Stanford University by the Russell Sage Foundation and Brown University, uses census data to examine family income at the neighborhood level in the country’s 117 biggest metropolitan areas. The findings show a changed map of prosperity in the United States over the past four decades, with larger patches of affluence and poverty and a shrinking middle. The study comes at a time of growing concern about inequality and an ever-louder partisan debate over whether it matters.
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