Why Dallas County’s Class Divide Hurts the Economy

illustration by Phil Foster

The rich are getting richer, the poor are becoming more plentiful, and, as with many things, it’s all bigger in Texas.

That’s the takeaway from two recent reports highlighting an ugly backdrop to the American economy—the huge and growing chasm of income inequality.

Most people are making less money two years after the Great Recession came to an end, according to the annual American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau, and poverty is at its highest point in nearly 30 years.

In 2011, median household income in the United States was $50,502—8 percent less than before the economic collapse in 2007. During that time, the percentage of households earning less than $35,000 grew from 32.1 percent to 35.6 percent.

In Dallas County, an even bigger chunk of the population made less than $35,000: 37.2 percent. And the income gap is more exaggerated: 4.7 percent of Dallas County households took in more than $200,000 last year (vs. 4.3 percent nationwide) and 20.1 percent of its residents were living in poverty (15.6 percent nationwide).

Read the full D CEO feature by Steve Kaskovich here