New Philadelphia Census Data: Poverty Up

New Census figures on Philly neighborhoods show inequality, high poverty rates.


By Alfred Lubrano

In grim and startling detail, a new five-year federal survey of poverty in Philadelphia shows a city still not recovered from the Great Recession — with white poverty exploding, inequality becoming the norm, and an out-of-the-way neighborhood experiencing some of the worst ravages of privation.

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Being released on Thursday, the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) Five-Year Estimate for 2013 through 2017 takes a microscope to the city's formidable 26 percent poverty rate, revealing fault lines of distress and hardship.

For example:

  • Fairhill in North Philadelphia registered a stunning 61 percent poverty rate.
  • The neighborhood of Eastwick in Southwest Philadelphia, near Philadelphia International Airport, showed the greatest poverty-rate increase of any community, rocketing from 12 percent during 2006-10 to 26 percent in the newest survey. That means that even after the recession ended, around a decade ago, conditions in Eastwick have gotten much worse than during the depth of the downturn.
  • White poverty throughout much of the city skyrocketed, led by the Northeast neighborhood of Holmesburg, which went from a 2 percent poverty rate to 19 percent.
  • The median household income of Tioga-Nicetown plummeted from $28,026 to $17,493, the largest drop in the city.

Continue reading the story on The Philadelphia Inquirer's website.

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