How much income inequality is there in West Hollywood?
How much income inequality is there in West Hollywood? Our first answer comes from an inequality index calculated by the Census Bureau. The higher the index, the more inequality. In theory, it goes from 0.00 (complete equality) to 1.00 (total inequality). In practice, the index stays between 0.30 and 0.65 for US cities.
Over the years 2010 to 2014, the inequality index was 0.52 in West Hollywood. The state average was 0.48, so the city had somewhat above-average income inequality. West Hollywood’s index was also higher than Culver City’s 0.45 and La Puente’s 0.37. La Puente is a city 30 miles to the east which had one of the lowest levels of income inequality in the county and state.
West Hollywood’s index was roughly the same as Los Angeles’ and Santa Monica’s. Beverly Hills, on the other hand, had significantly more income inequality. Its index was 0.64, among the highest in the state.
Average income when residents are grouped by income
Our second answer looks at how much lower-income residents are making compared to higher-income residents. The Census Bureau sorted West Hollywood’s households into five equal-sized groups based on their income and then calculated the average annual income for each group during the years 2010 to 2014.
The one-fifth of households with the lowest incomes averaged about $10,000 a year. The next group made about $30,000 per household. The middle group earned $57,000 on average. The next-to-highest-income households made $94,000. The highest-income one-fifth of households had an average income of $232,000. That’s a ratio of 23 to 1 from the highest-income group to the lowest-income group.
The Census Bureau also reported the average income for the top 5% of households. It was $427,000 in West Hollywood. The number was similar in Los Angeles and Culver City and $150,000 higher in Santa Monica. It was almost $1.4 million in Beverly Hills.
Share of income when residents are grouped by income
Our third answer looks at the five income-based groups another way. If we add up all of the income for all West Hollywood residents, how much of it is collected by the residents in each group?
The lowest-income group had 20% of households but 2% of the total income. If we add together the two lower-income groups, they had 40% of households and 9% of the income. The highest-income group had 20% of households and 55% of total income.
Income growth when residents are grouped by income
How have things changed over time for the five income-based groups? We calculated the growth in average income for each group between two multi-year periods, 2006-2010 and 2010-2014. Keep in mind that it wasn’t the exact same households in each group over this whole period.
The average income grew 4% or 5% for the two lower-income groups. The next two groups saw income growth of 8% or 9%. The highest-income group also had the highest income growth, 15%.
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