Georgia Counties Rank High on Income Equality List

June 12, 2014 15:00 pm

by Tim Darnell · 12 comments

A new survey from The Pew Charitable Trusts shows that Clarke County ranks fifth in the nation in terms of income inequality.

Out of 3,144 counties nationwide, six of the most unequal counties are in the south. A total of 13 Georgia counties are among the 100 most unequal in the nation.  

Manhattan County in New York ranks No. 1 on the list, while the second most unequal is on an Indian reservation in North Dakota.

Here’s a look at the Georgia counties in the top 100:

  • Clarke County – No. 5
  • Greene County – No. 7
  • Randolph County – No. 11
  • Calhoun County – No. 14
  • Fulton County – No. 23
  • Baker County – No. 29
  • Dougherty County – No. 54
  • Twiggs County – No. 55
  • Thomas County – No. 57
  • Putnam County- No. 79
  • Decatur County – No. 87
  • Jenkins County – No. 90
  • Bibb County – No.  92

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken June 12, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Looking at most of those counties, they’re there not because of the rich but because of the poverty.

Lawton Sack June 16, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Jenkins County (GA-12) is in that boat. They lost so many jobs after the industries left.

saltycracker June 13, 2014 at 9:26 am

Fulton Co #23 out of 3,144 in the U.S. ? How did they define income ?
Good paying ($13-$18 hr plus OT) jobs going open with no takers now.

George Chidi June 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm

How far back do you have to go in American history to define a $13 an hour job as “good paying?”

saltycracker June 14, 2014 at 10:22 am

Back to wherever one needs a chance to get started/learn a new direction with opportunity to move up, quickly……..I should have picked another adjective but that wasn’t your message was it ?

Dave Bearse June 13, 2014 at 10:30 am

Georgia’s counties are half the size of nearly all US counties east of the Mississippi River, making it difficult to conclude from the list much both with respect to total number of counties on the list, and how they qualified for the list, e.g. generally the smaller the population pool the more likely statistically likely there to be extremes.

northside101 June 13, 2014 at 11:38 am

Greene County’s explanation (for being on the list) is pretty simple—Lake Oconee. The county bisected by I-20 and midway between Atlanta and Augusta, is poor and black to the north of that interstate, wealthy and white to the south of it. The growth of the Reynolds Plantation area could first be seen politically in 2000, when the county backed Bush by a 57-41 percent margin over Gore. During the 20th century, Greene was one of the most reliably Democratic rural counties in the state. When much of rural Georgia went with Goldwater over LBJ in 1964, Greene gave Johnson 71 percent of the vote. Four years later, it was one of only 7 Georgia counties to give a plurality to Hubert Humphrey (Nixon carrying 10 Georgia counties and George Wallace the other 142 counties). Greene even backed Mondale and Dukakis for president in the 1980s, one of only about a dozen Georgia counties to do so. But these days, Greene is in the GOP camp, especially in the Old Salem precinct that takes in much of the Greene portion of the lake area—Romney won a near unanimous 86 percent of the vote there against Obama last time. I suspect as Rockdale and Newton to the west (of Greene) continued to move Democratic, you’ll see Morgan and Greene Counties continue to go more Republican.

northside101 June 13, 2014 at 11:40 am

Oops—I meant one of about two dozen counties to back Mondale and Dukakis in the 1980s (Greene being one of the relatively few Georgia counties to back those two liberal Democrats for president)

saltycracker June 13, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Clarke Co., UGA on the top side……..

blakeage80 June 16, 2014 at 11:01 am

As a long time resident of Clarke Co, I’ll say it seems like we have a lot of public housing for a town of 0ur size. It seems as if we are the public assistance HQ for NE GA. Also, I know a lot of college kids who would love a $13/hr paycheck. We have a lot of low paying jobs around here because we a have a large pool of people who will work for cheap. I won’t even get into Clarke CO business taxes and regulation that also affect wages. On the flip side, there are some folks who do very well here, so there is potential to make money in Clarke Co, its just limited.

George Chidi June 16, 2014 at 11:08 am

It’s concentrated in town, while there’s virtually none within 10 miles of Athens. Take a look at the HUD map for Georgia, and you’ll see what it looks like.

xdog June 16, 2014 at 1:02 pm

That’s a quality map, George. Thanks for the link.