By HOLLY K. MICHELS holly.michels@lee.net

Montana is the state with the fastest growth of income inequality, according to a recent report based on U.S. Census Bureau data.

The report, from a website called Zippia that covers career issues, summarizes data from the American Community Survey from 2010-2016.

Montana’s income inequality increased 4.97 percent over those six years. The state ranks 30th in overall income inequality; New York tops that list.

“What we are seeing is not unique to Montana, but we have seen income inequality grow at a faster rate in Montana over the past five years,” said Heather O’Loughlin, co-director of the Montana Budget and Policy Center.

O’Loughlin said part of the reason Montana ranks at the top of the list is likely that non-wage income is making up a bigger share of the state’s economy. A vast majority of that kind of income, such as capital gains and real estate investments, goes to higher-income households, O’Loughlin said.

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