Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Income Inequality’s Impact on Community Development

November 1, 2011

This issue of Community Investments explores the issue of income inequality from a community development perspective, examining the broad trends that have contributed to its rise as well as the impact of inequality at the individual and community level. The articles consider different facets of income inequality, such as the geographic segregation of income groups at the neighborhood and regional level, and the increasing polarization of the labor market. A "Community Perspectives" thought piece examines the causes and consequences of the broad changes in income distribution. In addition, we address the impact of poverty stressors on LMI households. Our "Eye on Community Development" section highlights important advancements in the community development field, including the CDFI Bond Program and new approaches to addressing adult literacy. We hope this issue of CI sheds light on the complex topic of income inequality in the United States, and more importantly, on the community development field’s role in addressing it.

The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or the Federal Reserve System. Material herein may be reprinted or abstracted provided Community Investments is credited. Please provide our Community Development Department with a copy of any publication in which material is reprinted.