In economics, there's something called the Gini coefficient. It's a measurement used to calculate income inequality and it works on a scale of zero to 1. In general, the higher the number, the more wealth is controlled by a small group of people.
Most communities fall somewhere in between. In Greater Boston the number is near the middle — .47 — and that number is high.
According to a new report (PDF) from the Metropolitan Area Planing Council, the wealthiest 20 percent of Metro Boston residents earn 10 time the poorest 20 percent. The report found that Metro Boston is less equitable when it comes to income than 85 percent of U.S. metro areas, and it's only getting worse:
"Over the past 30 years, wealth in the region has become increasingly concentrated, creating a smaller group of wealthy families than ever before, while more Greater Bostonians than ever struggle to make ends meet."
- Jesse Grogan, co-author, "The State of Equity in Metro Boston"
This segment aired on December 13, 2011.