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Widened Gap Between Wealthy & Poor North of Boston

MASSACHUSETTS – While the Occupy protesters may be gone from Dewey Square, their sentiment is alive and well in a report recently released by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council that has found a widened gap between the haves and have-nots inside Boston’s I-495 belt.

“Wealth in the region has become increasingly concentrated, creating a smaller group of wealthy families than ever before, while more Greater Bostonians than ever struggle to make ends meet,’’ the report stated.

Unveiled at a Harvard Law School forum last Tuesday, the report, “State of Equity in Metro Boston”, shows that income inequality has widened dramatically in the region over the past three decades, and is now higher than 85% of other metropolitan areas nationwide.

The report is the first in a series of indicator reports, monitoring the region’s progress toward achieving the goals set out by MAPC’s MetroFuture plan, developed as a blueprint for regional economic growth through 2030.

The report studied the ways inequity affects residents of all ages, from children to adults to seniors, a group that is growing in numbers according to the report. Seniors are also increasingly financially challenged as more and more families are now headed by grandparents.

While Metro Boston has become more diverse and increasingly foreign-born, the report also shows the region remains highly segregated.

With the region’s affordable housing occupied mainly by moderate-income people, housing is clearly a major issue for the impoverished. Half the renters in the region are labeled as “housing-burdened” by the report, paying more than 30 percent of their income on rent.

For more information or to download the full report/executive summary, visit www.mapc.org.

 

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