New ACS data on county-level income inequality

According to the latest American Community Survey (ACS) data released today by the Census Bureau, more than half of Americans live in counties that experienced a statistically significant increase in income inequality between the 2007-11 and 2012-16 ACS survey periods. The latest 2012-16 ACS 5-Year Estimates dataset indicates that inequality has increased significantly in almost a quarter of U.S. counties since the 2007-11 ACS 5-Year Estimates survey period. There was a statistically significant increase in inequality in 742 counties, a decrease in inequality in 86 counties, and no statistically significant change in the other 2,312 counties.

American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates datasets include demographic and economic statistics for all geographic entities, including counties with relatively small populations; as the ACS is a sample survey, estimates for these area tend to have higher corresponding margins of error. This visualization utilizes a calculation to take into account the sampling error associated with each estimate of county-level income inequality, to determine if differences in measured inequality between the two survey periods are statistically significant. Click any county in the map below to see a link to the original American Community Survey data for the county, through the American FactFinder data portal.

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