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1-in-5 live in poor neighborhoods

Dec. 11, 2011 at 5:42 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- About 67 million, or one-quarter of the U.S. population, live in "poverty areas," census tracts with poverty rates of 20 percent or more, the census says.

The American Community Survey, compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, showed that people living in poverty tend to be clustered in certain neighborhoods rather than being evenly distributed across geographic areas.

The highest number of these poor neighborhoods are located in Mississippi, which has 46 percent of these poor census tracts, with New Hampshire having the lowest at 5 percent.

In 15 states and the District of Columbia, more than one-quarter of the population resided in poverty areas, the report said.

Of the 10 million people residing in tracts where poverty was especially prevalent -- poverty rates of 40 percent or more -- 43 percent were white, 38 percent were black, 3 percent were Asian, 11 percent were some other race, and 2 percent reported two or more races, the survey indicated.

Individuals residing in tracts with poverty rates of 40 percent or more were less likely to have completed high school, to work year-round, work full time and to own a home, and were more likely to be living in a female-householder family and to be receiving food stamps than individuals living in tracts with low poverty rates -- or poverty rates of less than 13.8 percent.

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