The distribution of incomes is more unbalanced in the City of Buffalo than almost anywhere else across Upstate New York.
Only Ithaca and Binghamton have larger gaps between haves and have-nots, according to a new breakdown of U.S. Census Bureau data.
The top 20 percent of Buffalo's households -- those earning the most money -- drew 53.28 percent of the total income earned by all city residents in 2012, the latest year for which official figures are available.
Business First is out with a rundown of the 25 Upstate communities where the top 20 percent of all households receive the biggest shares of income.
Researchers also have a database with breakdowns for 124 Upstate communities.
The City of Ithaca has Upstate's broadest income gap, with the top 20 percent of its households receiving 57.87 percent of the total income for all residents in 2012. Binghamton's rate was 53.88 percent.
The communities with the widest income disparities tend to fall into three groups:
Big cities (such as Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse) that have substantial populations of poor people.
College towns (such as Ithaca, Oneonta and Cortland) that have large numbers of college students with low incomes.
Affluent suburbs (such as Pittsford, Brighton and Clarence) that include some families with exceptionally high annual earnings.
Business First analyzed income data for all 124 Upstate New York cities and towns with at least 10,000 residents. (Villages were excluded because they are subdivisions of towns.)
All statistics are the latest official figures from the five-year version of the U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 American Community Survey.
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