San Francisco, the nation’s hotbed of innovation and and a veritable millionaire-production factory is struggling with its economic development. To wit: a new report from the city’s Human Services Agency (via The San Francisco Chronicleand Valleywag) finds that, on some metrics, San Francisco has more income inequality than developing nations, rivaling not the likes of Sweden and Denmark, but countries of sub-Saharan Africa.
The figure cited by the Chronicle is the Gini coefficient, which measures income distribution on a scale of 0 (everyone shares wealth equally) to 1 (all of the nation’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of one person). Sweden landed at a .25, and Denmark came in at .24. The United States, per the World Bank, earns a .45, with San Francisco at .523—worse than Rwanda’s .508, and barely better than Guatemala’s .559.
Hmm, OK, so, what should be done?
What’s clear, regardless of what side of the gentrification/tech-boom debate one is on, is that San Francisco’s demographics are rapidly changing, and living in the city is increasingly—and rapidly—becoming a practical impossibility for many of its working-class residents.
So that’s a problem that solves itself then, the poor move out of town and the gini falls…..