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CityLab
Economy

Inequality and the Growth of Cities

As metro areas grow and prosper, inequality doesn't have to be a given.
Waiting for the train in Stamford, Connecticut, one of the most high-growth, high-inequality metros in the country.
Waiting for the train in Stamford, Connecticut, one of the most high-growth, high-inequality metros in the country. Flickr/Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York

There's no question growing inequality is one of the most significant challenges facing the United States today. And it's often most severe in the largest U.S. cities and metro areas. Several recent studies (two of which I've already written about here at CityLab) have found inequality to be connected to economic clustering—the very force that propels innovation and economic growth.

But what exactly is the connection between inequality and economic growth? Do economic success stories always have to be connected to inequality?