boston after-01
Scroll down for interactive images. Nickolay Lamm

Recent reports show U.S. income inequality is at a record high, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the country’s biggest metropolitan areas.

To illustrate, artist Nickolay Lamm created these "visualizations" showing extreme disparities in income in six major American metropolitan areas: Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and New York.

Here’s his methodology:

I used a map of net worth of Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco to create 3D bar shapes that correspond to the net worth in each section of the map. So these "before" and "after" images show what the world would look like if buildings were as tall as its residents were wealthy. For example, if one section had a net worth of $500,000, the height of the 3D bar shape for that section was 5 cm. If one section had a net worth of $112,000, the height for that section was 1.12 cm.

Here are Lamm’s visualizations. Drag the slider to see the city with or without Lamm’s 3D chart:



Los Angeles:

San Francisco:


New York:

Check out the rest of Lamm's Wealth Inequality Project here.