Concentrated Poverty and Regional Equity

Concentrated Poverty and Regional Equity

Findings from the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership Share Indicators Initiative

Abstract

Both the extent of concentrated poverty (the share of the poor that live in low-income neighborhoods) and regional equity (disparity in conditions between lower- and higher-income neighborhoods) are critical indicators of a community's well-being. In the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas, concentrated poverty worsened somewhat overall in the early 2000s, while disparities narrowed modestly for most social and economic measures. However, metros differed dramatically from each other on both counts. The two concepts are also not closely correlated: many metros have high concentrated poverty but low disparity between neighborhoods, and the reverse is also true.

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