Friday, August 21, 2015

Inequality (or lack thereof)

As previously shown, by large metro area standards, Rochester does a nice job of avoiding the segregation of college graduates from non-college graduates.  Along the same lines, Rochester suburbs, which boast some of the highest educational attainment in the country, also provide housing that is cheaper than national average.  Despite these facts, Rochesterians somehow feel that we have a crisis of inequality.  Without a doubt, the local media's obsession with urban underachievement has fueled this perception.  Adding further fuel to the fire are the inferiority complex and hypercritical nature of the native Rochesterian when it comes to home-town analysis.

With hopes of quelling the negativity, here is yet more data indicating that Rochester does not have an inequality crisis, at least compared to other large metro areas.  The study, which looked at segregation by income within America's metros, identified Rochester as the tenth least income-segregated large metro in the country.  A naysayer might believe that Rochester's performance in this study relates to overall low wages in the region.  In reality, the study found that income segregation was only weakly associated with average wages and was not significantly related to per capita income.

One would imagine that less income segregation translates into greater social and economic mobility.  And if such mobility is not occurring, perhaps we should focus our attention on the immobile parts of the population as opposed to any perceived shortcomings of the region as a whole.

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