There is now more than a quarter-million-dollar income gap between top and bottom Bay Area households, a first-time comprehensive study finds. That's 50 percent higher than the national average.
Key reasons include high-tech earners in Silicon Valley and the growing decline of middle-income households throughout the Bay Area.
The research brief titled "Income Inequality in the San Francisco Bay Area," found that the average income in the top 20 percent of Bay Area households is $263,000 greater than the bottom 20 percent.
"That's 50 percent higher than the gap nationwide," said Jon Haveman, author of the study and a principal at Marin Economic Consulting. The gap nationwide is $178,000.
The study was done by the Joint Venture Silicon Valley's Institute for Regional Studies. It looked beyond wage disparity to differences in income, which include stock options, real estate and capital gains, in addition to wages. Based on the 2013 U.S. Census and American Community Survey data, it also compares the Bay Area against national numbers.