Skip to main content
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

Concentrated Poverty

  • Where America’s poverty is getting more and more concentrated, By Danielle Kurtzleben, June 30, 2014, Vox: “Around 15 percent of Americans live in poverty, but a much bigger share live in areas where the concentration of poverty is particularly high. More than one-quarter of all Americans live in ‘poverty areas,’ places where more than 20 percent of the population lives under the poverty line, currently around $23,600 for a two-parent family of four, according to a new report from the Census Bureau. One striking finding is that Americans living in these poor neighborhoods are more heavily concentrated in the southern US than anywhere else. . .”
  • Maps: A fourth of Americans live in poor neighborhoods, By Niraj Chokshi, June 30, 2014, Washington Post: “A fourth of all Americans live in what the Census Bureau calls ‘poverty areas,’ neighborhoods where at least 1 in 5 have incomes below the poverty level, according to a new report. The share of people living in these poverty areas grew substantially fell during the 1990s but grew substantially over the first decade of the 2000s. As of 2010, it’s up to 25.7 percent, from 18.1 percent in 2000. (In 1990, it was 20 percent.) And while not all people living in such areas are themselves poor, they find themselves in areas associated with a slew of problems. . .”
  • Census outlines ‘poverty areas’: Which states hit hardest? By Daniel B. Wood, June 30, 2014, Christian Science Monitor: “The number of US residents living in “poverty areas” has jumped significantly since 2000, according to a Census Bureau report released Monday. According the 2000 Census, less than 1 in 5 people lived in poverty areas. But more recently, 1 in 4 residents have lived in these areas, according to census data collected from 2008 to 2012. The Census Bureau defines a poverty area as any census tract with a poverty rate of 20 percent of more. Sociologists and other analysts point to the Great Recession, in particular housing and job challenges, as well as slow and uneven growth since the recession. . .”