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Income Inequality

General information

Income inequality refers to the distribution of household income compared to the number of households, which can be measured with the Gini Coefficient, a score of 0 represents complete equality and a score of 1 represents complete inequality. Areas with gaps in income equality are more likely to have poorer health outcomes such as life expectancy, infant mortality, and obesity.1

Source: California Department of Public Health, Income Inequality: Household Income relative to the number of households (Gini Index), 2014

Key Findings

  • San Mateo County has a Gini Coefficient of 0.46, one of the highest among Bay Area counties indicating that it has one of the highest inequalities of the 9-county region.
  • The cities of Burlingame and Menlo Park have the highest Gini Coefficient of 0.51, indicating these two cities have the largest income disparities.
  • Daly City has the lowest income disparity with a Gini Coefficient of 0.37.

Methods

  • Data were obtained from the California Department of Public Health’s Healthy Communities Data and Indicators Project.
  • The Healthy Communities Data and Indicators Project used 2008-2010 American Community Survey 3-year Estimates.

Limitations

  • The Gini Coefficient measures only the distribution of wealth and poverty and not the magnitude.
  • The Gini Coefficient is based on American Community Survey data, which are estimates based on survey responses and not actual counts.

​References

  1. California Department of Public Health, Healthy Communities Data and Indicators Project

Commands