Study: Phoenix, Detroit among cities with highest growth in poverty

By Sommer Brokaw

April 23 (UPI) -- While the U.S. economy has been growing in recent years, residents in some cities have not seen as many positive gains, statistics show.

Experts say the U.S. economy may be on the verge of its longest stretch of economic growth ever. Gains for more than eight years have already made for the third longest stretch in U.S. history.


Still, several U.S. cities have been left out, in which some people are living in extreme concentrated poverty.

In 20 U.S. metropolitan areas, the rate of residents living in extremely poor neighborhoods has increased by more than 3.5 percentage points between 2010 and 2016.

According to the report by 24/7 Wall Street, based on U.S. Census data, Bakersville, Calif., saw the highest increase of concentrated poverty in the United States in that time span.

The figures show the number of Bakersfield residents living in high poverty rose from 16 percent in 2010 to 32.5 percent in 2016.

Fresno, Calif., was rated as having the second-largest increase -- followed by Springfield, Mass., Albuquerque, N.M., and Detroit.

Youngstown, Ohio; Toledo, Ohio; Sacramento, Calif., Oklahoma City and Phoenix rounded out the top ten.


High-poverty neighborhoods are often associated with higher unemployment, less education, and higher crime.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines highly concentrated poverty in neighborhoods as those with a poverty rate of at least 40 percent. The poverty level is set at $25,100 annually for a family of four and $12,140 for one person.

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