Poverty is Getting Out of Control and Dangerous in these Five Cities

poverty in us citiesBy Dr. Sinclair Grey III

Even though there are signs of economic recovery, many cities are still facing hard times. With all of the reports of job growth, many people are still struggling to find work, pay bills, and have an adequate life. According to the latest data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, ‘the poverty rate in more than 20 cities with populations of 25,000 or more increased by at least 10 percentage points.’

Real estate value decline and job loss have hurt many people in cities that were once thriving. To understand how these cities were calculated to be hit the hardest ‘24/7 Wall St. reviewed the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 2012 three-year estimates. Because this release averages three years worth of data (2010-2012) it allows for the review of smaller cities. Checking the Census Bureau’s comparison table for statistical significance, we compared this three-year period to the 2007-2009 period. The cities with populations of 25,000 or more with the largest percentage point increase in poverty made our list. To be consistent, we used three-year averages for national figures as well. In addition to poverty figures, we collected home values, income, and employment by industry, all using the ACS. From the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we reviewed annual average unemployment figures from the past six full years.’

Here’s the list:

5. Salisbury, North Carolina: Poverty of 16 percent. It was 3 percent higher than the national average. Salisbury relies on the manufacturing sector, particularly textiles and fabrics. With a sharp decline, the workforce dropped almost half from 15.5 percent to 8.3 percent. “2010-2012 poverty rate: 28.4 percent. Median household income: $33,083. Population: 33,596”

4. College Park, Maryland: At one time, households were among the wealthiest in the U.S. “In every year between 2007 and 2012, unemployment in College Park city was below the national rate. As of August of this year, however, the unemployment rate in the region was 7.8 percent, more than the U.S. rate of 7.3 percent. “2010-2012 poverty rate: 32.0 percent. Median household income: $53,913. Population: 30,921.”

3. Goshen, Indiana: Unemployment doubled between 2007-2012 from 4.5 percent to 9 percent. A city that relies heavily on manufacturing, when the recession hit, jobs were lost. “2010-2012 poverty rate: 27.0 percent. Median household income: $38,155. Population: 31,989.”

2. Cookeville, Tennessee: A city that relies heavily on construction jobs fell. Household values decreased. “2010-2012 poverty rate: 35.2 percent. Median household income: $28,212. Population: 30,755.”

1. Eastpointe, Michigan: “According to the Detroit News, Eastpointe’s population has fallen, its budget has shrunk by millions, and state funding declined by $700,000 since 2009. In addition to cost-cutting measures such as eliminating full-time employees and closing city offices on Fridays, city residents will be asked to pay more property taxes next year to balance the budget. 2010-2012 poverty rate: 27.1 percent. Median household income: $36,706. Population: 32,412”

Source: MSN Money


Dr. Sinclair Grey III is an inspirational speaker, motivator, author, organizer and liberator of persons from all intellectual, social and cultural walks of life. He is a committed advocate for communal change. Email: drgrey@sinclairgrey.org. Follow on Twitter @drsinclairgrey


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