What Household Income Distribution Looks Like In Pennsylvania Cities
Pennsylvania cities have more low-income households and fewer higher-earning households than the national average.
The Brookings Institution, analyzing data from the American Community Survey, broke up cities’ populations by what quintile of the national income distribution households fell into. The Brookings analysis found that “collectively, the smaller cities mirror the national income distribution almost exactly. In large cities, by contrast, both low-income (bottom 20 percent) and very high-income (top 5 percent) households are overrepresented.”
Aside from Philadelphia, most cities in the Commonwealth are small, yet they bucked that trend: in every city the lower income brackets are overrepresented. In Reading, the lowest income bracket contains more than double the national percentage of low income households. Perhaps that shouldn’t be surprising considering that many Pennsylvania cities are considered distressed.