Using this metric, he found that Washington, D.C. has the highest gap between high and low earners, followed by California, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland and Virginia.
In 2012, Obama won eight of the ten, with the exception of Texas and Louisiana. South Dakota, which Mitt Romney carried by an 18 percent margin, has the lowest level of income disparity in the nation, the study also found.
“The gap widened the most in Maryland, where it grew by 12.05 percent, compared to an average of 6.43 nationwide,” Barrington noted. The gap narrowed in only two states: Wyoming, where it closed by 3.11 percent, and Louisiana, where income inequality decreased 1.24 percent.
“In blue states, the average ratio between high and low incomes is 2.27, compared to 2.18 in red states. What is more striking is the difference in how rapidly the income gap has grown over the last 10 years. In blue states, the ratio between high and low incomes has grown by 7.74 percent, compared to 4.96 percent in red states,” Barrington noted.
He also pointed out that while the average worker actually tends to be better off financially in states with higher income gaps, “this advantage may be fading.”
“Median incomes have grown more slowly in states where the income gap has been increasing most quickly,” he added.