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America is the land of unequal opportunity. These 13 maps show how class, education, and health inequities all intersect — with nonwhite, rural areas hit especially hard.

maps look the same overlay

Summary List Placement

At Insider, we make a lot of maps. And in my years of making dozens upon dozens of maps illustrating different aspects of American economic, social, and political life, I’ve noticed that many of them look strikingly similar. Maybe you’ve seen the pattern, too.

The coasts and other big cities are wealthy, healthy, and well-educated. But many rural areas, particularly in the South, face overlapping crises tied to economic, health, and social factors.

This mapmaking is part of what researchers call “economic geography,” or the study of how factors like business and personal wealth vary from place details ⇒

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