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Communications Bureau, City of Rochester

In Monroe County, the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer.

The census compares household income by dividing the total number of households by five. The bottom fifth earns the least amount of money and the top fifth earns the most. According to data released this week, in Monroe County:

– The bottom fifth of households earned an average of $10,379, down $319 (3 percent) from 2010 and down $988 (9 percent) from 2008.

– The top fifth had an average household income of $165,573 in 2011, up $2,471 (1.5 percent) from 2010 and up $5,266 (3 percent) from 2008.

– The top 5 percent of earners made an average of $283,603, up $2,622 (1 percent) from 2010 and up $15,260 (6 percent) from 2008.

– The middle fifth earned an average of $50,084 in 2011, up $621 (1 percent) from 2010, but down $1,733 (3 percent) from 2008.

– The top fifth of earners took in 49 percent of all household income. The top 5 percent took in 21 percent of all household income. The poorest fifth of households took in 3 percent of all household income.

– The top fifth of earners made 16 times more money than the bottom fifth in 2011, up from 15 times in 2010 and 14 times in 2008.

There’s no denying income inequality is real in Monroe County.  Rochester has the 7th highest child poverty rate in the nation at 54 percent.

There have always been two Rochesters. The haves and the have-nots. Former Mayor Bob Duffy laid out his vision for “One City” in his 2006 inaugural address:

Let us look at what tends to divide us – politics – race -religion – geography. We need to commit to work to break down those barriers. Our future depends upon our sense of unity of purpose. We must look at our community as family. And when times are tough, families pull together and draw upon each other’s strengths. We are a family and now is the time to show it.

Today I ask you to look in the mirror – to ask yourself each day what did I do today to improve Rochester – and what can I do tomorrow to have a positive influence for a child – for your neighborhood and for our community.

Then, look out the window – and find that opportunity. Every child in our city is an opportunity. Every street in our city is an opportunity. And every job you can offer to someone offers opportunity.

We are a community of great wealth and great poverty. Our future success depends on our ability to connect our great assets with our greatest needs. We are two cities today. In the future, we have to work and commit to be one. One city.

Links of the Day:

– A new study knocks Rochester for having the lowest graduation rate of black males in the country.

– The Susan B. Anthony House would like more Rochesterians to visit.

– Cuomo’s press office made reporters sign waivers before going on a tour of the Adirondacks.

– Xerox is on a hiring spree in Colorado, where an economic development official says $10-an-hour jobs are better than nothing.

4 Responses to Income Inequality Growing Here

  1. September 21, 2012 at 1:42 pm theodore kumlander responds:

    I would suggest that the low graduation rates for black males is the fault of the black males themselves. the idea that rexources are delbertily being with held is ludcrious.

  2. One great source of income inequality is the incredibly high cost of a college education today. College costs have increased at more than double the rate of inflation for at least the last two decades. There seems to be no limit on what colleges are willing to charge kids (and their parents) today for a college education. It would be very interesting for the local press outlets to interview the heads of local colleges and see exactly what they are doing to ease the cost of college. My guess is that they are doing NOTHING to try to lower (or even stabilize) the cost of college. Healthcare and education are two costs that have risen many times faster than inflation. It is no coincidence that both are heavily controlled by government intervention. Each time the subject comes up, the hue and cry come out that the solution is to throw more government money at the colleges and universities. And just like clockwork, colleges and universities RAISE tuition to suck up every dollar of additional aid. This is a huge problem that the press has been silent on. When will the mainstream media start attacking one of the root causes of income equality – college tuition increases that are double or triple the rate of inflation, year after year. The time is now for price controls for college tuition.

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  4. September 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm Edward Richards responds:

    While it sounds nice, kids are more than an opportunity. Actually, they are a masterpiece, as the City schools tell us. That is until kids (who skip school) get that opportunity to give you nightmares after they pull their masterpiece from their front pocket and say “gimme everything”. THEN after you do, decide to pull the trigger and kill you point blank.

    Some masterpiece.

    Come on politicians. Get real. Where is the opportunity you speak? Use YOUR money, YOUR influence, YOUR power and YOUR per diems to start something instead of wasting money on campaign mailers to remind people to vote, get routine health check ups and advance agendas. While it won’t solve the problem, at least it’ll be a good start.

    So start something.

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