- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana has one of the highest income inequality rates in the country.

That’s the finding of a left-leaning organization that advocates for low- to moderate-income families, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The center’s report released Thursday says the top 5 percent of Louisiana households have an average income 14 times larger than the bottom 20 percent of households - and an average income nearly five times larger than middle-income households.

The poorest 20 percent of residents have an average income of $16,900, compared to $238,600 for the richest 5 percent, according to the data.

The report urges state tax policy changes to close the gap.

According to the report , states with the largest wealth gaps are New York, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, Florida, Georgia and Texas.

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