The City Hit Hardest by Extreme Poverty in Every State
6. Colorado: Boulder
> 2010-2016 increase in concentrated poverty: +10.4 ppts (0.0% to 10.4%)
> 2010-2016 increase in concentrated poverty: +4,234 people (0 to 4,234)
> 2010-2016 avg. annual GDP growth: +2.2% (Colorado: +2.7%)
> Unemployment: 7.2% (poor neighborhoods) 5.3% (all other)
As recently as 2010, there were no neighborhoods in the Boulder metro area with poverty rates of 40% or above. As of 2016, however, over 4,000 low-income Boulder residents lived in such neighborhoods. Boulder’s poorest neighborhoods are characterized by widespread joblessness. The unemployment rate across the metro area’s high poverty neighborhoods of 7.2% is far higher than the jobless rate of 5.3% in the the city’s remaining neighborhoods.
Concentrated poverty increased in Boulder as the metro area’s economy expanded slower than the state’s as a whole. Boulder’s average annual GDP growth of 2.2% from 2010 to 2016 is half a percentage point below the 2.7% average annual growth across Colorado.
7. Connecticut: Norwich-New London
> 2010-2016 increase in concentrated poverty: +5.9 ppts (0.0% to 5.9%)
> 2010-2016 increase in concentrated poverty: +1,519 people (0 to 1,519)
> 2010-2016 avg. annual GDP growth: -0.5% (Connecticut: -0.5%)
> Unemployment: 9.2% (poor neighborhoods) 7.6% (all other)
Some of Norwich-New London’s poorest residents have become increasingly economically isolated in the last few years. As recently as 2010, none of the city’s low-income residents lived in neighborhoods with poverty rates of 40% or above. Now, about 1,500 do.
Poor neighborhoods are often characterized by low educational attainment rates, and the Norwich-New London metro area is no exception. Just 22.2% of area adults have a bachelor’s degree, and only 72.6% have a high school diploma — well below the respective 32.5% and 91.8% shares across the metro area’s remaining neighborhoods.
8. Delaware: no city with concentrated poverty increase
While concentrated poverty tends to be worse in urban areas, Delaware’s only metro area is not home to any extreme poverty neighborhoods. The Dover metro area has an overall poverty rate of 13.2%, less than the 15.1% national poverty rate but above the state rate of just 11.7%. Still Delaware is home to four neighborhoods where the poverty rate is at least 40%. Some 4.5% of the Delaware’s poor residents live in such extreme poverty neighborhoods — an increase from the state’s concentrated poverty rate of 4.0% in 2010 yet far below the 11.6% national concentrated poverty rate.
9. Florida: Sebring
> 2010-2016 increase in concentrated poverty: +27.2 ppts (0.0% to 27.2%)
> 2010-2016 increase in concentrated poverty: +5,136 people (0 to 5,136)
> 2010-2016 avg. annual GDP growth: -0.6% (Florida: +2.0%)
> Unemployment: 16.4% (poor neighborhoods) 11.7% (all other)
While Florida’s poverty rate fell from 16.5% in 2010 to 14.7% in 2016, the poverty rate in the Sebring metro area rose from 16.9% to 19.4%. Two neighborhoods in Sebring crossed the threshold into extreme poverty over that time, and they are now home to 27.2% of the city’s poor population — the highest concentrated poverty rate in Florida. The jump in concentrated poverty from 0.0% to 27.2% between 2010 and 2016 was the largest increase of any metro area nationwide and more than 10 times the percentage point increase in concentrated poverty for Florida as a whole.
10. Georgia: Macon
> 2010-2016 increase in concentrated poverty: +14.4 ppts (30.3% to 44.7%)
> 2010-2016 increase in concentrated poverty: +10,386 people (13,428 to 23,814)
> 2010-2016 avg. annual GDP growth: +0.7% (Georgia: +2.3%)
> Unemployment: 22.4% (poor neighborhoods) 7.9% (all other)
While nationwide the share of poor Americans living in poor neighborhoods fell from 14.0% in 2010 to 11.6% in 2016, the concentrated poverty rate in Macon rose from 30.3% to 44.7%. The 14.4 percentage-point increase was the largest of any metro area in Georgia and pushed Macon’s concentrated poverty rate from the 11th highest in the nation to third highest.
Concentrated poverty is far more common among minority populations. While just 10.5% of poor white residents in Macon live in poor neighborhoods, 58.2% of poor black residents and 44.1% of poor Hispanic residents do.