Local News

The latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau places Kentucky in two unfortunate categories.

The commonwealth is among states with the lowest median household income (below $45,000, Kentucky’s is around $41,000) and it is among the states with the highest income inequality.

In the first category, Kentucky fits in with most of the states to the south. Only Georgia has a median income above $45,000, making it the outlier in the south, along with Texas. 

The second category puts Kentucky in more mixed company. The bureau measures income inequality with the Gini index, which varies from 0 to 1, “with a 0 indicating perfect equality, where there is a proportional distribution of income. A 1 indicates perfect inequality, where one household has all the income and all others have no income.”

Kentucky’s Gini number is .471. It ranks near southern states (except South Carolina), but income inequality is also high in states with major cities and metropolitan areas. California, New York, Illinois and Massachusetts all have higher Gini ratings. Kentucky’s rating is roughly even with the national Gini rating.