One-quarter of Americans live in areas with over 20% poverty

The Census Bureau recently released updated data showing an increased number of Americans living within poverty areas:

In 2010, the overall U.S. poverty rate was about 15 percent. However, about a quarter of all Americans lived in a so-called “poverty area”—defined as a census tract where more than 20 percent of the population lived below the poverty line. For our purposes, we can just call these places poor neighborhoods, even though the term is a little more accurate in an urban context than a rural one. The problem was especially severe in Appalachia and across the South and Southwest, where in most states 30 percent or more of all residents lived in these communities…

The South may have the greatest share of its population packed into poor neighborhoods, but the growth of concentrated poverty was actually fastest in the Midwest, as shown on the graph below. The poor-neighborhood population also became more suburban and rural compared to 2000, according to the Census…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Researchers have paid more attention to such neighborhoods in recent decades and yet the problem seems to have gotten worse.

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