The Underground Economy: D.C.’s Richest and Poorest Metro Stops
Metro doesn’t just run from one part of town to another; it bridges some enormous gaps in income around the D.C. region. Median annual household income along the subway system ranges from $147,630 around the Friendship Heights station on the Red Line to $31,735 in Congress Heights on the Green Line. These figures are from the American Community Survey’s 2011 5-Year Estimates. Each number represents an average of the median household incomes for all populated census tracts within a half mile of the station. (This was inspired by a New Yorker project that mapped income inequality on New York subway lines.)
The most volatile route in our system is the Orange Line, reaching upward of $142,000 at East Falls Church and bottoming out at around $34,000 18 stops later at Minnesota Ave. Just across the Anacostia River from what your realtor will have you believe is Capitol Hill, Minnesota Ave. is also one of the two adjacent stations that boasts the highest level of income inequality between next-door neighbors; the Stadium-Armory station’s surroundings have an annual household income of about $88,000, more than two and a half times Minnesota Ave’s.
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