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Editorial: Connecticut’s persistent wealth gap

September 21,2018

A closer look at the Census data shows that Fairfield County had triple the number of people earning $200,000 or more a year compared to the country as a whole.

The median income in the country was $61,372 — meaning half the households earned more and half less — a 1.8 percent increase from 2016 to 2017. Overall, in Connecticut the median income of $74,200 grew by 1 percent from 2016 to 2017, which is the right direction but not far enough. In New Jersey the median income rose 5.2 percent and in New York by 3.2 percent. We could do better.

Disparity among income in the state’s cities persists.

Stamford at $87,300 had the highest median income among large cities, with Norwalk second at $70,000. For Danbury, which saw a decrease, the median income was $65,600, but New Haven and Bridgeport households had a median level of about $45,000.

The number of Americans living below the poverty line inched downward from 12.7 percent in 2016 to 12.3 percent in 2017, the third consecutive year of decline. But it remains difficult for people with incomes hovering just above that line because the cost of basics, such as groceries and health care, has increased faster than wages, according to the United Way, which calls these households ALICE for Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed. Even in Stamford — with the highest median income — 40 percent of the households are income constrained.

Continue reading: Stamford Advocate