The faces of the ‘1 percent’

The news: Occupy Chicago, rallying behind its slogan, “We are the 99 percent,” entered a fourth month of protesting.

Behind the news: Nationwide, white households are three times more likely to earn more than $200,000—the highest income bracket tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau—than black households. In Chicago, the disparity is even greater with white households being eight times more likely to be in the top bracket than their black counterparts, shows a Chicago Reporter analysis of census data.

For every 10,000 white households in the country, 475 make it into the top income bracket, but in Chicago, the number jumps to 868. For every 10,000 black households in the country, 113 make more than $200,000 compared with 96 in Chicago.

Richard E. Barrett, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said that Chicago, like other major cities, has a high concentration of wealth and many top-paid managerial jobs, but minority groups tend to represent a marginal group among the ranks.

“High paying jobs in corporations are not going to black [people] in large proportions,” Barrett said.

Cedric Herring, a UIC sociology and public policy professor, also pointed at where black households live.

“Where people live has an impact on the jobs people get, has an impact on the schools they go to, and the schools they go to impacts what kind of income they will earn,” he said.

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