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News / City Life

Interactive map of median household incomes across the U.S. confirms your suspicions

WNYC interactive median income map
Photograph: Courtesy WNYC

New York public radio station WYNC has crunched numbers from the 2012 census to create an interactive map showing the median household incomes in communities across America. 

The data are tied to census tracts, and areas are assigned a color: dark blue for those areas with a median income of $200,000-plus, dark orange for those with a median income lower than $15,000, and various shades of yellow, green and blue for the segments between. 

You can zoom to a city or state in the search box, or scroll across the country and home in on areas with the zoom function. Check it out below. 

There aren't a bunch of surprises here, with richer areas in major cities and their outskirts and the poorest areas in more rural regions. But the map does put into stark light just how tightly clustered the richest areas of the country are—it's the 1 percent and 99 percent laid geographically bare.

Some quick takeaways: 

- There is a river of blue from Washington, D.C., to Bridgeport, NY, clustered around the major cities and luxury neighborhoods in that region (New York City, Philadelphia, the Hamptons, Fairfax and Montgomery Counties in Virginia). 

- The richest blocks of Manhattan are Tribeca and the Upper East Side, with Census Tract 142 (bordered by Park and Fifth and 77th and 84th Streets in the Upper East Side) recording the highest median income in New York City ($243,622). Try not to drop dead of surprise at that one. But counties like Westchester and Fairfield recorded even higher median household incomes than that. 

- In Chicago, similarly unsurprisingly, water views correlated to high median incomes. Census tract 8006, which takes up a wedge of Kenilworth on the North Shore of Lake Michigan, recorded the highest median income in the Chicago area ($236,250).

- Beverley Hills is as rich as you'd expect, with a Bel Air tract recording a median income of $231,648 and another part of the neighborhood posting $217,546. But it is rivaled for California's richest by Palo Alto, where a number of tracts are rendered in various shades of blue. 

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