The City Hit Hardest by Extreme Poverty in Every State

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41. South Dakota: no city with concentrated poverty increase

While the concentrated poverty rate in South Dakota as a whole rose from 14.6% in 2010 to 15.9% in 2016, the share of poor residents living in extreme poverty neighborhoods fell or remained unchanged in the state’s metro areas. The largest decline occurred in the Rapid City metro area, where the concentrated poverty rate fell from 11.5% to 0.0%. While poverty became more concentrated in South Dakota, the state’s overall poverty rate declined from 14.4% to 13.3%, even as the U.S. figure rose from 13.8% to 15.1%.

Source: Brian Stansberry / Wikimedia Commons

42. Tennessee: Cleveland
> 2010-2016 increase in concentrated poverty: +15.1 ppts (6.5% to 21.6%)
> 2010-2016 increase in concentrated poverty: +3,414 people (1,177 to 4,591)
> 2010-2016 avg. annual GDP growth: +1.4% (Tennessee: +2.5%)
> Unemployment: 20.2% (poor neighborhoods) 8.3% (all other)

While the share of poor Americans living in extreme poverty neighborhoods nationwide fell from 14.0% in 2010 to 11.6% in 2016, the concentrated poverty rate in Cleveland rose from 6.5% to 21.6% — the largest increase of any metro area in Tennessee and the ninth largest in the country.

Income segregation can contribute to large disparities in homeownership, employment, and other socioeconomic outcomes, particularly in urban areas. In Cleveland, just 32.2% of heads of household living in extreme poverty neighborhoods own their homes, and 20.2% of the labor force is unemployed. By comparison, 70.3% of heads of household outside of extreme poverty neighborhoods in the metro area own their homes, and 8.3% of the labor force is unemployed.

Source: Davy Lane Photography / Shutterstock.com

43. Texas: Laredo
> 2010-2016 increase in concentrated poverty: +15.0 ppts (44.1% to 59.1%)
> 2010-2016 increase in concentrated poverty: +18,464 people (31,275 to 49,739)
> 2010-2016 avg. annual GDP growth: +0.8% (Texas: +3.6%)
> Unemployment: 7.0% (poor neighborhoods) 5.5% (all other)

The share of poor Laredo residents living in extreme poverty neighborhoods — where at least 40% of residents live at or below the poverty line — rose from 44.1% in 2010 to 59.1% in 2016. The increase was the largest of any metro area in Texas, the 10th largest of any city nationwide, and pushed Laredo’s concentrated poverty rate from third highest in the country to the highest.

The rise in concentrated poverty affected the metro area’s minority communities the most. While the concentrated poverty rate for white residents in Laredo rose from 35.2% in 2010 to 39.7% in 2016, the concentrated poverty rate for black residents rose from 27.7% to 62.4%, and for Hispanic residents from 44.4% to 59.7%.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

44. Utah: Logan
> 2010-2016 increase in concentrated poverty: +24.0 ppts (0.0% to 24.0%)
> 2010-2016 increase in concentrated poverty: +4,546 people (0 to 4,546)
> 2010-2016 avg. annual GDP growth: +1.3% (Utah: +2.9%)
> Unemployment: 6.5% (poor neighborhoods) 4.0% (all other)

While in 2010 the Logan metro area had no extreme poverty neighborhoods — in which at least 40% of residents are poor — two census tracts have crossed that threshold over the past several years. Today, some 24.0% of Logan’s 19,000 poor residents live in extreme poverty — the highest concentrated poverty rate of any Utah metro area.

Logan’s increasing concentrated poverty rate may be partially the result of slower than average economic growth. Between 2010 and 2016, Logan’s economy grew at an average annual rate of 1.3% — the slowest of any metro area in the state and below the U.S. GDP growth of 2.0% for that time.

Source: Thinkstock

45. Vermont: no city with concentrated poverty increase

No metro areas in Vermont reported an increase in concentrated poverty from 2010 to 2016. Burlington-South Burlington, the state’s only metro area, was home to two extreme poverty neighborhoods in 2010. However, the share of poor metro area residents living in neighborhoods where at least 40% of the population is poor declined from 15.0% to 0.0% as the two poorest tracts fell below the extreme poverty threshold. As a result, the concentrated poverty rate for Vermont as a whole fell from 4.1% to 0.0%, the largest decline of any state.