What does this measure?
The 80/20 ratio describes the disparity in the size of the income of a household at the 80th percentile relative to that of the income of a household at the 20th percentile. A higher ratio indicates greater income inequality.
Why is this important?
High levels of income inequality can make it more difficult for lower income children and families to become part of the middle class (upward mobility). The greater the disparity in income, the less likely it is that positive effects of economic growth will be distributed among all households.
How is our region doing?
In 2014-18, MetroWest had an 80/20 ratio of 5.0, an increase of 15% since 2000. The 80th percentile salary was $520,500 and the 20th percentile salary was above $105,100. The MetroWest regional ratio was slightly higher in 2014-18 than the national ratio of 4.9, although the ratio increased in MetroWest as it fell for the nation from 2000 to 2014-18. It was lower than the Massachusetts rate of 5.5.
The ratio was the highest in Lincoln, at 5.4, with an 80th percentile salary of $250,000 and 20th percentile salary of $46,000. Income inequality was a bit higher in Middlesex and Worcester counties, with ratios of 5.0 and 5.1, than in Norfolk at 4.8.
Notes about the data
The ratio was calculated by dividing the median household income at the 80th percentile by the median household income at the 20th percentile. Household income was sourced from U.S. Census data.
|Acton town, Middlesex County||3.8||4.7||4.4|
|Ashland town, Middlesex County||3.3||4.2||4.1|
|Bedford town, Middlesex County||3.4||4.0||4.4|
|Bellingham town, Norfolk County||2.9||3.6||4.1|
|Boxborough town, Middlesex County||3.5||5.5*||4.6|
|Carlisle town, Middlesex County||0.0||3.9***||4.0***|
|Concord town, Middlesex County||4.6||4.8***||4.3***|
|Dedham town, Norfolk County||3.7||4.0||5.0|
|Dover town, Norfolk County||0.0||3.6***||2.4***|
|Framingham city, Middlesex County||4.4||5.3||5.1|
|Franklin town, Norfolk County||4.0||4.0|
|Groton town, Middlesex County||3.4||3.9||4.6|
|Harvard town, Worcester County||3.5||3.8||3.9***|
|Holliston town, Middlesex County||3.5||4.7||3.7|
|Hopkinton town, Middlesex County||3.5||3.6||3.5***|
|Hudson town, Middlesex County||3.7||4.5||4.2|
|Lexington town, Middlesex County||4.1||4.9***||3.7***|
|Lincoln town, Middlesex County||4.9||4.5||5.4***|
|Littleton town, Middlesex County||3.7||5.4||4.9|
|Marlborough city, Middlesex County||3.9||4.5||4.1|
|Maynard town, Middlesex County||3.8||5.4||5.0|
|Medfield town, Norfolk County||3.7||3.9||4.0***|
|Medway town, Norfolk County||3.2||3.5||4.0|
|Milford town, Worcester County||4.4||4.3||4.2|
|Millis town, Norfolk County||3.1||3.7||3.7|
|Natick town, Middlesex County||3.7||4.6||4.7|
|Needham town, Norfolk County||4.2||4.5***||4.0***|
|Sherborn town, Middlesex County||0.0||4.0***||2.8***|
|Southborough town, Worcester County||4.4||4.0***||4.1***|
|Stow town, Middlesex County||3.0||4.1||3.7|
|Sudbury town, Middlesex County||0.0||2.9***||3.2***|
|Walpole town, Norfolk County||3.7||4.1||4.6|
|Waltham city, Middlesex County||4.0||4.9||4.4|
|Wayland town, Middlesex County||0.0||4.9***||3.5***|
|Wellesley town, Norfolk County||0.0||3.8***||3.5***|
|Westborough town, Worcester County||4.0||3.9||4.2|
|Westford town, Middlesex County||3.1||3.0||3.8|
|Weston town, Middlesex County||0.0||3.6***||5.1***|
|Westwood town, Norfolk County||4.0||5.5||4.0***|
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.
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