Inequality, a growing social and political issue in the United States, has become particularly acute in the industrial Middle West.
This makes sense, considering the transformation of the industrial economy that once supported millions of middle-class jobs across the region. But new statistics show that this perception is reality, with inequality growing particularly fast in such states as Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan.
The statistics come from the Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI), the Toronto-based home of urbanologist Richard Florida, and they appear in one of the articles that Florida writes regularly for The Atlantic Cities website. The site, and Florida’s thoughts, contain some of the most useful writing on urban issues today.
Much of the growing inequality in the Midwest can be blamed on the usual suspects—the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, the 1 percent is outpacing the 99 percent, the uneducated are out of luck, and the middle class is vanishing. All this is true, the MPI says, but it’s pretty much true everywhere. So they ask: why is inequality growing faster in some places than in others?