Monday, January 24

Cities with the highest poverty rates


Unemployed worker
Parinya Maneenate / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Oneself.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the US government has provided an unprecedented amount of financial assistance to American households to prevent potential economic disaster.

From expansions of social safety net programs like unemployment insurance and food stamps to multiple rounds of direct payments, multiple aid packages from Congress over the past year have helped many households have better financial basis.

Early analyzes of these policies indicate that one of the groups that benefit most from these relief efforts is the poor in the United States. One recent report from the Urban Institute estimated that as a result of these investments, the US poverty rate will drop to 7.7% in 2021, which would be the lowest rate on record.

This drop in the poverty rate would represent an acceleration of a more gradual trend that has occurred in recent years. The poverty rate rose to almost 16% in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

By 2019, after a steady but slow economic recovery over the previous decade, the poverty rate had fallen to 12.3%. But while the overall trends are promising, this number still represents roughly 40 million Americans, and poverty hits some populations more than others.

To find the cities with the highest poverty rates, Self’s researchers analyzed data from the US Census Bureau. American Community Survey. The researchers examined poverty rates for all cities with at least 100,000 residents and collected data on the percentage and number of people living in poverty overall and for children and racial / ethnic minorities.

These are the cities with the highest poverty rates.

15. Dallas, TX

Record cold grips Dallas in February 2021.
Marouanesitti / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall poverty rate: 17.5%
  • Child poverty rate: 27.8%
  • Minority poverty rate: 21.5%
  • Total residents below the poverty level: 232,209
  • Total children below the poverty level: 91,035
  • Total minority residents below the poverty line: 203,210

14. El Paso, TX

El Paso, Texas
BrianWancho / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall poverty rate: 18.6%
  • Child poverty rate: 26.9%
  • Minority poverty rate: 19.7%
  • Total residents below the poverty level: 125,140
  • Total children below the poverty level: 47,771
  • Total minority residents below the poverty line: 116,228

13. Tulsa, OK

Tulsa Oklahoma
Select30 / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall poverty rate: 18.6%
  • Child poverty rate: 27.1%
  • Minority poverty rate: 27.0%
  • Total residents below the poverty level: 73,586
  • Total children below the poverty level: 26,546
  • Total minority residents below the poverty line: 48,805

12. Tucson, AZ

Tucson
Chris Rubino / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall poverty rate: 19.1%
  • Child poverty rate: 25.8%
  • Minority poverty rate: 22.0%
  • Total residents below the poverty level: 99,524
  • Total children below the poverty level: 27,709
  • Total minority residents below the poverty line: 67,414

11. Houston, TX

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall poverty rate: 19.7%
  • Child poverty rate: 28.9%
  • Minority poverty rate: 23.3%
  • Total residents below the poverty level: 449,733
  • Total children below the poverty level: 163,139
  • Total minority residents below the poverty line: 408,445

10. Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, Maryland
Hethers / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall poverty rate: 20.2%
  • Child poverty rate: 30.5%
  • Minority poverty rate: 24.0%
  • Total residents below the poverty level: 115,472
  • Total children below the poverty level: 35,834
  • Total minority residents below the poverty line: 99,772

9. Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, Georgia, Piedmont, Park, Skyline, Autumn
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall poverty rate: 20.2%
  • Child poverty rate: 34.9%
  • Minority poverty rate: 28.7%
  • Total residents below the poverty level: 95,034
  • Total children below the poverty level: 29,729
  • Total minority residents below the poverty line: 82,132

8. Miami, FL

GagliardiImages / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall poverty rate: 20.3%
  • Child poverty rate: 25.6%
  • Minority poverty rate: 22.2%
  • Total residents below the poverty level: 94,209
  • Total children below the poverty level: 20,409
  • Total minority residents below the poverty line: 89,054

7. Memphis, TN

Memphis, Tennessee
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall poverty rate: 21.7%
  • Child poverty rate: 35.0%
  • Minority poverty rate: 26.0%
  • Total residents below the poverty level: 137,977
  • Total children below the poverty level: 53,531
  • Total minority residents below the poverty line: 122,624

6. Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Rudy Balasko / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall poverty rate: 22.4%
  • Child poverty rate: 32.6%
  • Minority poverty rate: 27.4%
  • Total residents below the poverty level: 128,555
  • Total children below the poverty level: 47,314
  • Total minority residents below the poverty line: 103,372

5. New Orleans, LA

stormy sky over New Orleans, Louisiana
Photography GJGK / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall poverty rate: 23.2%
  • Child poverty rate: 33.1%
  • Minority poverty rate: 29.2%
  • Total residents below the poverty level: 88,044
  • Total children below the poverty level: 25,143
  • Total minority residents below the poverty line: 76,819

4. Fresno, CA

Fresno, California
Tupungato / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall poverty rate: 23.2%
  • Child poverty rate: 32.2%
  • Minority poverty rate: 26.7%
  • Total residents below the poverty level: 121,007
  • Total children below the poverty level: 46,993
  • Total minority residents below the poverty line: 102,304

3. Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, afternoon rush hour downtown.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall poverty rate: 23.3%
  • Child poverty rate: 32.1%
  • Minority poverty rate: 28.8%
  • Total residents below the poverty level: 359,011
  • Total children below the poverty level: 106,909
  • Total minority residents below the poverty line: 292,706

2. Detroit, MI

Harold Stiver / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall poverty rate: 30.6%
  • Child poverty rate: 43.2%
  • Minority poverty rate: 30.7%
  • Total residents below the poverty level: 201,766
  • Total children below the poverty level: 70,713
  • Total minority residents below the poverty line: 182,035

1. Cleveland, OH

Cleveland Ohio
Rudy Balasko / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall poverty rate: 30.8%
  • Child poverty rate: 46.1%
  • Minority poverty rate: 36.3%
  • Total residents below the poverty level: 114,309
  • Total children below the poverty level: 37,664
  • Total minority residents below the poverty line: 91,786

Methodology

Man analyzing data on a laptop
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Poverty rates by age, race, and over time are from the US Census Bureau. American Community Survey.

To identify which places have the highest poverty rates, the researchers looked at the overall poverty rate for all cities with at least 100,000 residents.

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