I don't claim to know everything about every metro area in the nation, but I realized a startling coincidence the other day. In nearly every case I can think of, the north and/or west sides of a city or metro area tend to be the more upscale areas, and the south and/or east sides of a city or metro area tend to be either primarily working-class or "economically challenged".
Metro areas that off the top of my head seem to fit this description:
Others may fit this profile, but I haven't thought it completely through yet. Others may not fit this profile (Los Angeles comes to mind; Orange County is southeast of LA and is not economically challenged).
What's the reason for this? Is there a human geography reason for this? I know that very generally speaking, land on the East Coast, the Midwest and the South slopes downward from west to east and from north to south, and rivers flow in that direction; could it be that more prosperous communities grow on the upstream parts of rivers, and poorer communties grow on the downstream sides?
Is this true of your community?