11 Cities Hit Hardest by Extreme Poverty

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5. Toledo, OH
> Post-recession chg. concentrated poverty rate:
11 percentage points
> Concentrated poverty rate: 35%
> Poor population: 113,094
> Post-recession chg. extremely poor neighborhoods: 13
> Poverty rate: 19.2%

While living in poverty has many negative consequences, the effects are often exacerbated when many poor residents live in the same neighborhoods. In Toledo, 35% of the city’s 113,094 poor residents live in extremely poor neighborhoods — where the poverty rate is 40% or greater. The metro’s concentrated poverty rate was 24% during the recession. The 11 percentage point increase in concentrated poverty was one of the greatest of any major metro area since the recession. Toledo’s extremely impoverished neighborhoods were mostly clustered in the southeast during the recession. Since then, extreme poverty has spread southward across the Maumee River into East Toledo.

As Toledo’s economy took hits from the recession, many wealthier residents likely moved out, ultimately leaving a higher poverty rate behind. Toledo’s population shrank by 6.7% from 2010 to 2014, while the country’s population as a whole grew by 3.1%.

4. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN
> Post-recession chg. concentrated poverty rate:
13 percentage points
> Concentrated poverty rate: 20%
> Poor population: 275,922
> Post-recession chg. extremely poor neighborhoods: 31
> Poverty rate: 14.6%

The share of poor Indianapolis residents living in extremely poor neighborhoods — places with a poverty rate 40% or higher — has increased from 7% to 20% over the last decade, one of the fastest increases in concentrated poverty of any major U.S. metro area. Unlike most areas with high income segregation, Indianapolis is not particularly poor. It is actually one of the fastest growing cities in the country, which may be one reason for the clustering of poor people in some neighborhoods.

As affluent residents move to newly developed, mixed-use, walkable suburbs, such as Carmel, they leave behind higher poverty rates. While in the last 10 years only six suburban neighborhoods in the Indianapolis metro area crossed the threshold into extreme poverty, 25 inner city neighborhoods did.

3. Bakersfield, CA
> Post-recession chg. concentrated poverty rate:
15 percentage points
> Concentrated poverty rate: 32%
> Poor population: 192,972
> Post-recession chg. extremely poor neighborhoods: 15
> Poverty rate: 23.4%

Once contained primarily east of downtown Bakersfield, extreme concentrated poverty has spread throughout other parts of the metropolitan area in the past decade. Of the roughly one in four Bakersfield residents who live in poverty, 32% live in extremely poor neighborhoods. This is nearly double the pre-recession concentration, when 17% of poor metro residents lived in extreme-poverty neighborhoods — one of the largest increases of any metro area. Bakersfield also had the fastest growth in the concentration of poor suburban whites of the country’s 100 largest metro areas.