Traditionally, income inequality and poverty have been treated as separate and unrelated phenomena. That an area is unequal, economically speaking, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily impoverished. But, increasingly, poverty and inequality are rising in the same places, according to new research. More of the U.S. is becoming both poorer and more unequal at the same time—a combination that is especially deadly for the economy.
The research comes from Beth Jarosz and Mark Mather at the Population Reference Bureau. It shows that by 2014, 41% of counties had high levels of inequality as well as high poverty rates—a 12% increase from 1989.