Brookings Institute: Numbers in Extreme Poverty Jump

A new report from the Brookings Institute shows that the number of Americans living in extreme-poverty neighborhoods--with at least 40 percent of residents living below the poverty line--sharply increased from 2000 to the end of the decade. By the end of 2010, 10.5 percent of Americans lived in such neighborhoods, up from 9.1 percent at the beginning of the decade. This figure is still better than in 1990, when 14.1 percent of Americans lived in extreme-poverty neighborhoods.

Concentrated poverty has also increased since 2000, particularly in the Midwest and South. Concentrated poverty in Midwestern metropolitan areas doubled from 2000 to 2005-09, rising by one-third in Southern metro areas during the same period. Writes Brookings: "The Great Lakes metro areas of Toledo, Youngstown, Detroit, and Dayton ranked among those experiencing the largest increases in concentrated poverty rates, while the South was home to metro areas posting both some of the largest increases (El Paso, Baton Rouge, and Jackson) and decreases (McAllen, Virginia Beach, and Charleston)." The concentration of poverty in Western metros decreased over this time, although Brookings predicts that this "trend...may have reversed in the wake of the late 2000s housing crisis."
According to the report, concentrated poverty is hitting the suburbs. From 2000 to 2005-09, concentrated poverty increased twice as quickly in suburban areas than in cities. Still, suburban poverty has not reached urban levels; Brookings notes that "poor people in cities remain more than four times as likely to live in concentrated poverty as their suburban counterparts."

Brookings states: "The recession-induced rise in poverty in the late 2000s likely further increased the concentration of poor individuals into neighborhoods of extreme poverty." Concentrated poverty in large metro areas increased by half a percentage from 2000 to 2005-09, but "estimates suggest the concentrated poverty rate rose by 3.5 percentage points in 2010 alone, to reach 15.1 percent."

Brookings has advice for efforts aimed at avoiding even higher concentrations of poverty: "Policies that foster balanced and sustainable economic growth at the regional level, and that forge connections between growing clusters of low-income neighborhoods and regional economic opportunity, will be key to longer-term progress against concentrated disadvantage."

NH cf
SSDAN Office

No comments :

Post a Comment