A State-by-State Analysis of Income Trends
Inequality has been increasing in Louisiana for nearly two decades. This can be observed by ranking all Louisiana families with children according to their income level, dividing them into five groups (or fifths) of equal size, and calculating the average income of each fifth of families. This analysis shows by the mid-1990s:
The Long-Term Trend
Since the late 1970s, income inequality has increased in Louisiana. The long-term economic growth of the past two decades was not shared evenly among the poor, the rich, and the middle class. Instead, the top fifth of families with children fared substantially better than other income groups.
The gap between the top fifth of families and the bottom fifth of families grew by 69 percent since the 1970s. The gap between the rich and the poor increased faster than in all but 12 states. The gap between the rich and the middle class increased faster than in all but 10 states.
The Recent Trend
Over the past decade, income inequality has worsened somewhat in Louisiana. The average income of the richest fifth of families and the poorest fifth of families have remained about the same while the incomes of the middle class have declined.
The gap between the rich and the middle class increased faster than in all but 14 states.
1. The direction of this change was not statistically significant at the 95 percent level of confidence.