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If You Think There's a New Bank Branch on Every Dallas Block, You're Only Half Right

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Even the 6-year-old who lives in my house has noticed it: "There's a new bank on every corner." To which the Associated Press responds: Yup, you're damn right, little man. The AP reports today that per its investigation of the invasion of the money-snatchers, 10,000 bank branches have popped up in the last five years -- with Dallas leading the way. Kind of.

Perhaps no place illustrates the expanding chasm as well as Dallas, a major financial center. The typical family living in the University Park section has an annual income of $200,000. The neighborhood, just north of downtown, is 97 percent white. Two percent of its residents are poor. Since 2004, banks have added 16 new branches. The area now has 43 banks, or one for every 475 people.

The market apparently isn't as big five miles away, where the typical south Dallas family earns about $17,000 annually. The neighborhood is 98 percent black. Half the people who live there are poor. In 2004, its residents could choose between a Bank of America branch and a Washington Mutual branch. By 2008, only the Bank of America branch remained, leaving the neighborhood with one bank for every 9,300 people.

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