Monday, December 2, 2013

Becker's "Super ZIPs and Economic Inequality" Blog Post

I read an excellent blog post on Everyday Sociology about growing income inequality and neighborhood segregation in the United States. Literally, where you live (zip code) can determine your future life outcomes. Check out the excerpt below:

Surely, affluent individuals have moved away from less affluent people in the past. The massive “white-flight” out of cities and into suburbs following World War II is a prime example of this. In larger metro areas, super ZIPs tend to be contiguous to one another, forming entire suburban regions of prosperity where one would have to travel quite some distance to see any sort of poverty.

Yet, the urban super ZIP regions found in New York City illustrate inequality far more starkly. Take for instance the cluster of super ZIPs in East Manhattan. A single neighborhood, East Harlem, separates the 10128 ZIP code in East Manhattan from the 10454 ZIP code in the South Bronx. The Manhattan ZIP code has a score of 96, while the Bronx ZIP code has a score of 3. In many places, it seems that your chances of either going to college or going to prison depend on if you live on one side of the freeway or the other.

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