There are five cities in the United States in which the poverty rates of blacks living in the metropolitan area exceeds 50%. This rate is about 3 times more than the average rates across the nation. Not only that, but these five metropolitan areas actually have a higher percentage of African American living in poverty than in 2009, which is when the recession officially ended. So the problem is becoming even worse.
A report from the Brooking Institution looked at total poverty across dozens of small, medium, and large cities. The results show more families than ever are struggling. There is a growing number of poor people in the suburbs and an even larger number of struggling families living in our nation’s cities.
In fact, the total poverty rates across the nation are flat, if not worse, than they were before the recession started. This shows that the strong job market, in which unemployment is down to about 5%, is not benefiting people of all regions. The strong job market is also not benefiting minorities or blacks as much as others.
The cities in which over 50% of African American are living in poverty includes the following:
Syracuse, NY is at 58.2%.
Youngstown Ohio 56.5%
Toledo Ohio 54.6%
Rochester, New York 53.3%
and lastly Chattanooga, TN at 51.6%.
What is interesting is that four of the cities are in New York and/or Ohio, in what many consider to be “rust belt” type areas. Those two cities are older manufacturing type hubs in which many industries have either left or relocated to more lucrative parts of the nation. Maybe the jobs went oversees or entire companies just shut their doors. The population of these cities also tends to be shrinking or flattish as families live Syracuse and other old manufacturing hubs.
The concentration of poor blacks in these cities is obviously way too high. It is becoming a cycle that is becoming challenging to break. Since these cities have over 50% rates of poor people which is generally leading to school systems that are being under-invested in as well as more people living on government entitlements. Many charities are also at capacity in the number of people they are able to help. This is perpetuating the cycle of poor in these 5 cities.
The Brooking Institution not only looked at these 5 cities, but it also reported on poverty rates across the entire United States. It shows that in total, bout 14 million people lived in what is known as concentrated poverty, which is about a 30% increase from 2009. The number of African American has also greatly increased since then.
Poverty levels are becoming more concentrated not only in cities such as Toledo Ohio or Rochester NY, but in dozens of other metropolitan areas. This is making it even more difficult for hard working Americans, whether they are black or another ethnicity, to break the cycle.