Illustration: Axios Visuals

Income inequality in the U.S. increased in 2018 to its highest level in the last 50 years of tracking the statistic, per an AP report on Census Bureau data.

Why it matters: Inequality has steadily climbed over the past 5 decades despite the country experiencing the longest period of economic expansion in its history.

By the numbers: The Gini Index measures income inequality on a scale from 0 to 1, with 0 representing maximum equality and 1 representing maximum inequality.

  • The Gini Index increased from 0.482 in 2017 to 0.485 last year, despite household median incomes reaching a record high of almost $62,000.

The big picture: Wealth inequality surged in many heartland states last year, thanks to trade and agricultural policies, though coastal states still had the most inequality overall.

  • Wealthy coastal areas like D.C., New York and Connecticut and areas with great poverty like Puerto Rico and Louisiana experienced the most income inequality.
  • Utah, Alaska, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota were the most economically equal states.

Go deeper: Majority of new hires are people of color for first time in history

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Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 19,861,683 — Total deaths: 731,326 — Total recoveries — 12,115,825Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 5,044,864 — Total deaths: 162,938 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says states don't have the funds to comply with Trump's executive order on unemployment — Mnuchin says Trump executive orders were cleared by Justice Department.
  4. States: New York reports lowest rate of positive coronavirus test results since pandemic began
  5. Public health: Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths by end of 2020. 
  6. Schools: 97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks — Nine test positive at Georgia school where photo showing packed hallway went viral .

97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks

A boy has his temperature checked as he receives a free COVID-19 test in South Los Angeles in July. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

At least 97,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the final two weeks of July and there's been an estimated 338,000 cases involving kids in the U.S. since the pandemic began, a new report finds.

Why it matters: The findings in the report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association comes as schools and day cares look to reopen in the U.S., with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announcing Friday that school districts in the state can reopen in the fall amid lower coronavirus transmission rates.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

Media tycoon Jimmy Lai at the Next Digital offices in Hong Kong in June. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai has been arrested for "collusion with foreign powers," said Mark Simon, an executive at the tycoon's media firm Next Digital Monday morning local time.

Why it matters: He was arrested under the new national security law that gives Beijing more powers over the former British colony. Lai is the most prominent person arrested under the law, which prompted the U.S. to sanction Chinese officials, including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, over Beijing's efforts to strip the territory of its autonomy.