2:00pm

Tue February 12, 2013
Income

What ‘Side Of The Tracks’ Do You Live On? This Map Will Show You

President Obama will touch on many issues during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, including the economy. While RichBlocksPoorBlocks.com has been around for over a year, it clearly shows the varying income levels across every city in the country.

The map overlays data from the American Community Survey by the U.S. Census to create a stunning visual of how income levels across cities vary. In an e-mail conversation, Chris Persuad, creator of http://RichBlocksPoorBlocks.com says he made the site in his spare time.

“The site was made with just HTML, CSS and JavaScript. For any of the web-nerdier readers/listeners, the JavaScript libraries I use are Google Maps API and jQuery. The maps themselves were made with Google Fusion Tables. I combined blank Census Tract maps with Census income data.”

Persuad, an editorial research specialist for Bankrate.com, created the maps for two reasons:

“To see if I could do it, and to see if I could make one that I like better than the New York Times' map. The NYT map has one income scale for the whole nation, while mine has a different one for each state. That means you can see more easily how $25,000 differs from $49,000 in a place like Denver, for instance. This started off just for fun, but now I'm thinking of adding more economic data -- like median rent and home values.”

Persuad says it’s very interesting to see economic dividing lines in certain cities including Kansas City, where Troost Ave. separates the very rich from the very poor. “In Philadelphia, the richer government-downtown area is surrounded by poorer neighborhoods. In Manhattan, household income appears to drop by over $100,000 from E 80th St. to E 98th St. -- a 10-minute walk!”

He adds that in almost every city across the country, the poor “tend to live in downtowns, while richer folks live in the suburbs. It’s quite interesting...”

Here’s a few Colorado cities and their median household income. Warmer colors signify poorer areas, cooler colors more affluent.

Screencap of Denver as seen on RichBlocksPoorBlocks.com
Credit RichBlocksPoorBlocks.com

Screencap of Fort Collins as seen on RichBlocksPoorBlocks.com
Credit RichBlocksPoorBlocks.com