More than 33% of Alabamian's live in "Poverty Areas" - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

More than 33% of Alabamian's live in "Poverty Areas"

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Research results released by the Census Bureau this week states that more than 33% of Alabamians now live in concentrated “poverty areas.” This is up from 25% in 2000. These are areas that have at least 20 percent poverty or higher. Alabama has almost 900,000 people that live below what the federal government considers the poverty line which makes Alabama the seventh poorest state in the nation.

“Concentrated poverty is linked with reduced educational and employment opportunities, higher crime rates, poor health outcomes, and hindered asset building. In today’s interconnected society, that negatively impacts all of us,” said Alabama Possible Executive Director Kristina Scott.

The Census Bureau also reported that these “poverty areas” are moving away from urban cities to more rural and suburban areas. In 2000 58% of people living in “poverty areas” lived in cities but in 2010 that figure dropped to about 50%.

Whites also saw the greatest percentage increase among racial groups in poverty areas, from 11.3% in 2000 to 20.3% in 2010. Meanwhile African Americans are more likely to live in poverty areas regardless of their income, making up 50% of the population in these areas.

“The changing nature of concentrated poverty challenges our perceptions. It also makes it more challenging to reverse. The needs of rural and urban communities are very different, and it is more difficult to build and sustain the responsive economic base necessary for recovery,” said Scott.


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