, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 395–412 | Cite as

The age of extremes: Concentrated affluence and poverty in the twenty-first century

  • Douglas S. MasseyEmail author


Urbanization, rising income inequality, and increasing class segregation have produced a geographic concentration of affluence and poverty throughout the world, creating a radical change in the geographic basis of human society. As the density of poverty rises in the environment of the world’s poor, so will their exposure to crime, disease, violence. and family disruption. Meanwhile the spatial concentration of affluence will enhance the benefits and privileges of the rich. In the twenty-first century the advantages and disadvantages of one’s class position will be compounded and reinforced through ecological mechanisms made possible by the geographic concentration of affluence and poverty, creating a deeply divided and increasingly violent social world.


Poverty Rate Residential Segregation Large Metropolitan Area Poor Neighborhood Geographic Concentration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Population Association of America 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Population Studies CenterUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia

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