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Expand chart
Data: New York Fed; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

This map is a vivid depiction of credit inequality in the United States. The dark areas show counties where a large proportion of the population has no access to credit, while the lighter areas are considered "credit-assured" or "credit-likely."

Why it matters: Communities with good access to credit can grow faster and prove more resilient to shocks than their less creditworthy counterparts.

Details: The source is an ambitious new report from the New York Fed, which is designed to measure access to credit not at the individual level but rather at that of the community as a whole.

The report creates a credit insecurity index, which is a proxy for the percentage of the population with no access to credit. Mouse over individual counties to see their scores.

  • "Credit-assured" communities have an index of less than 19%, while "credit-at-risk" communities fall between 29% and 35%. Anything above 36% is considered "credit-insecure."
  • For guidance: San Francisco gets a score of 19.4%, Manhattan is 23.2%, and Washington, D.C., is 30.8%.

Race plays an enormous factor in this map.

  • 58% of the population in the credit-insecure counties is non-white, compared with 27% of the population in the credit-assured counties.
  • One of the best scores in the country, 11.5%, is boasted by Fall River County in South Dakota, which is 89% white. Neighboring Oglala Lakota County, by contrast, has a truly gruesome score of 66.1%; it is 94% Native American.
  • The highest score of all is found at the tip of the Alaskan panhandle, in the Aleutians West census area. That population, which is served by just one bank branch, has a credit insecurity score of 74.4%.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Updated 4 hours ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February
  2. Vaccines: Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker