Is the East-Side of a City Usually Poorer Than the West-Side?

Yes, actually — in the Northern Hemisphere, anyhow. This is mainly due to the fact that the wind blows from west to east. When cities were expanding during the industrial revolution, the pollution from the various industrial smokestacks would waft from west to east, often making the west side of town a more desirable — and more expensive — place to live.

More Wrong Side of the Tracks Facts:

  • The gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen in most countries. Mexico has the worst gap, with the richest 10% of their people making more than 25 times more than the poorest 10%. Second worst is Turkey and third the United States. In the U.S., about 17% of the populations of Turkey and the U.S. live below the poverty level.

  • Across many of the United States, rich neighborhoods have two to four times the number of grocery stores compared to poorer neighborhoods; stores in poorer neighborhoods also generally have less high-quality food items, such as fresh vegetables and low-fat foods.

  • The industrial revolution also led to child labor issues. With the inventions of steam-powered machines and automated systems, physical strength became less of an issue and children could perform the same work as adults. Employers also could pay children less, and they usually did. In 1900, there were about 1.7 million children younger than 15 working in American industry.

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More Info: The Januarist; Population Reference Bureau

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