Mapping the moneyCheck out this cool set of maps showing the higher-income neighborhoods for each of the 25 largest U.S. metros (hat tip to NeoHouston). Most cities show a similar pattern with a small area of wealth in the core, surrounded by the poor, then some middle class suburbs, then more wealth on the edges. From the page:
The "wedge of wealth" definitely defines Dallas (north), Atlanta (north), and Houston (west), although you can see more all around if you go farther out. In Houston, the west wedge if obvious, but you can also see Kingwood, Clear Lake, Sugar Land, and Willowbrook/NW. The map does not go out far enough to show The Woodlands. As far as our gentrifying areas, note the gray middle-class areas in the core north and east of the red wedge, such as The Heights and the Washington corridor - so the wedge is growing both inward and outward.
These maps show the distribution of income (per capita) around the 25 largest metropolitan areas in the US (all those with population greater than 2,000,000). The goal was to test the "donut" hypothesis — the idea that a city will create concentric rings of wealth and poverty, with the rich both in the suburbs and in the "revitalized" downtown, and the poor stuck in between.
This does seem to have some validity in older cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, or Chicago, but in newer cities it is not the case. Instead of donuts, one finds "wedges" of wealth occupying a continuous pie-slice from the center to the periphery.
Just from visual inspection, it also seems that poverty donuts all tend to have about a five-mile radius, regardless of the size of the city. Perhaps this is the practical limit for commuting without a car?
One flaw in the maps is they only show federal interstate highways, not state freeways, so a lot of key freeways are missing (like 59, 290, 249, 288, etc.).
One other observation from these maps: often metros are ranked by population, but there's always been a bit of a mismatch between population size and perceived importance. Some smaller metros are subjectively considered "more important" (SF Bay Area, DC, Boston) than some larger cities (DFW, Houston, Atlanta, Detroit, Phoenix). In these maps, you can sort of see why: those cities have much larger high-income areas, which means more professionals with higher education. Check out Chicago vs. the SF Bay Area, Atlanta vs. DC, or Detroit vs. Boston. Or, if there were more maps, I'd bet you'd see the same thing with larger San Antonio vs. smaller Austin. I'm not saying it's fair or right, just how different metros are perceived that jumps out in these maps.
Please feel free to share your own observations from the maps in the comments.