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Income Distribution along the United States Border with Mexico: 1970-1990

James Peach


This article examines income inequality along the U.S. side of the U.S.-Mexican border region in the context of national trends toward greater income inequality. The focus is on two questions. First, is there a greater or lesser degree of inequality in the border counties than in the border states or the nation? Second, what changes in income distribution have occurred in the border region in recent decades? Data from three U.S. censuses are used together with various measures of distribution to address these questions. Among the conclusions reached are: (1) income inequality in the border counties is generally greater than in either the border states or the nation; (2) there was some improvement in border county income inequality in the 1970s while the reverse was the case in the 1980s; and (3) the results are not particularly sensitive to the choice of statistical measure of distribution.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229