Housing Complex

Mapping Metro by Race and Income

Back in April, data whiz Chris Dickersin-Prokopp created a map for Washington City Paper showing the median income for each Metro stop in the system. Now, Metro's planning blog, PlanItMetro, supplements his effort with two maps of its own: one depicting income, the other race.

The income map looks very similar to Dickersin-Prokopp's, with wealth concentrated in western D.C. and the western suburbs, poverty concentrated in eastern D.C., and moderate incomes at the Prince George's County stops. Rather than median income, this map tracks the percentage of riders (by origin station, on a typical May 2012 weekday) who are low-income, with an annual household income under $30,000:


The second map shows something different: the percentage of riders at each station who are minorities, defined as anything other than white non-Hispanic. No Metro station is less than 22 percent minority, while the percentage at some reaches into the upper 90s. As we well know, there's a strong correlation between race/ethnicity and poverty in the D.C. region. But there's one area where this correlation falls apart: In Prince George's County (and to a lesser extent the outer western suburbs), there's a high percentage of minorities but a low percentage of low-income riders. This shouldn't come as a surprise, as Prince George's County is the wealthiest majority-black county in the country. Still, it does account for the main discrepancy between the two maps.


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  • DCJWalkr

    Yep that is correct. A few years ago, you could draw a line on a map extending both directions straight up & down 16th street and more or less get the same results. The jobs, wealth and income would be mostly concentrated to the west except for a few spots. Maybe now you could shift that line a few streets east ... would that be progress?

  • name

    Correlates quite well to yesterday's news about the most dangerous stations.

  • 420Money

    Whats the point of this racist fucking crap classicism at its best so these new yuppies have something to grin at comment on a friday WTF

  • https://twitter.com/ranpuba Randall M.

    Stations like Fort Totten, Anacostia, and RI Ave - Brentwood are also bus feeder stations. The racial and income statistics may or may not reflect the actual make up of the communities around these stations. They may also reflect the impact of poorer Black and Latino Prince George's County residents.

  • Dont Worry

    Racist post and typical white man always wanting to compare races n classes against each other.

  • Required

    I'd like to see a map comparing income level with time of use during the day.

    Completely anecdotal, but when I was traveling to work at 5am, a lot of my co-riders seemed to be going to work way before the people who had much higher paying jobs.

  • 17BobTreyO

    Fascinating maps. What would be particularly interesting is a time-lapse of how this has changed over 10-20 years. Seems pretty clear that the money and non-minority growth occurred in the center of the system first, and is very slowly, but steadily spreading east.

    Poverty in the suburbs, defined.