|3. Dollar stores thrive in distressed pockets of America
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
As rural America gets left behind by the rise of coastal superstar cities and the chasm between the richest and the rest widens, one entity is heavily profiting from the blight: the dollar store, Axios' Erica Pandey writes.
In the early 1960s, the bottom 90% of American households by income had the same wealth as the top 1% — 33% of the total. Today the bottom 90% has dropped to only 20% of the wealth, while the top 1% has raised its share to 40%, according to a paper by Edward Wolff, an economics professor at New York University.
The rise of dollar stores goes hand-in-hand with the decline of American malls:
Today, there are more than 30,000 dollar stores in the U.S., up from around 18,000 a decade ago, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
The stakes: Those who rely on dollar stores for food are exposed to overwhelmingly unhealthy diets, with choices that rarely go beyond processed and packaged snacks.