A Comprehensive Listing Of The Most Miserable Cities In America

Communities Of Extreme Poverty Are Becoming More Poor

1) … Peter S. Goodman reports in Huffington Post Increase In Extreme Poverty Leaves Millions of Americans Stranded.  The number of Americans living in communities of extreme poverty, neighborhoods in which at least 40 percent of the population is poor, soared by one-third between 2000 and the latter half of the decade, according to a new study from the Brookings Institution.

The marked increase in so-called concentrated poverty underscores the distress tearing at communities across the nation amid the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. It highlights a stunning reversal of economic fortune since the 1990s, when powerful job growth combined with the expansion of tax credits for lower-income households lifted millions of Americans above the poverty line.

Between 1990 and 2000, the number of poor people living in concentrated areas of poverty plunged from 4.4 million to three million, according to the study. By 2009, the number again exceeded four million, and the Brookings researchers assume the figure will be larger still when the Census releases detailed data for 2010. Preliminary figures for 2010 showed more than 46 million Americans — some 15 percent of the population — living below the federal poverty line, defined as annual income of $22,314 for a family of four.

“The gains that we made in the 1990s, with targeted policies and a booming economy, a lot of those have been erased over the 2000s,” said Elizabeth Kneebone, a senior research associate at Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program, and the study’s lead author. “Places that used to be solidly working class in the ’90s have fallen behind after two recessions.”

The broad elimination of working opportunities in many poor communities has left millions of people effectively stranded on islands of economic desolation, with the attendant problems of poverty — dilapidated housing, crime, social strife — deterring the investment that might alleviate their plight

In New Haven, CT, where the number of poor people living in neighborhoods of extreme poverty jumped by nearly half between 2000 and the latter years of the decade. Though the northeast saw less of an increase than other areas of the country, New Haven, best known as the home of Yale University, stands out as one of the nation’s fastest-growing centers of concentrated poverty. By the end of the decade, nearly one in four poor people living in the city was in a community with 40 percent or greater rates of poverty

Neighborhoods with concentrated poverty tend to be afflicted with higher crime rates and lower real estate values. The study released Thursday morning compares poverty rates in 2000 to averages from the data running from 2005 through 2009. The result is a tapestry of extreme poverty that varies considerably by region. The study found particularly prominent increases in concentrated poverty in the industrial Midwest, where the loss of manufacturing jobs has eliminated a crucial source of livelihood for lesser educated workers.

In the Detroit and Toledo metropolitan areas, nearly one in four poor people was living in an extremely impoverished neighborhood by the latter half of the 2000s, according to the study. Overall, Midwestern metropolitan areas saw rates of concentrated poverty nearly double between 2000 and the second half of the decade.

Southern communities also suffered significant growth in extremely poor populations, with El Paso, Baton Rouge, La., and Jackson, Miss. among the metro areas with the sharpest increases. The study reinforces how poverty has emerged as a force in suburban communities, a trend that has been underway for more than a decade, yet has accelerated in recent years as housing prices have plummeted, and as joblessness has reached previously healthier areas.

The number of poor people living in areas of extreme poverty in the suburbs increased by 41 percent between 2000 and the latter years of the decade, as compared to 17 percent growth in cities during that same time frame, according to the study. Still, poor people living in concentrated poverty inside cities still vastly outnumbered those in suburbs.

2) … There is a growing poverty epidemic in America.

2A) … AP and the Guardian report As a whole, the number of poor in the suburbs who lived in high-poverty neighborhoods rose by 41% since 2000, more than double the growth of such city neighborhoods.

Elizabeth Kneebone, a senior research associate at Brookings, described a demographic shift in people living in high-poverty neighborhoods, which have less access to good schools, hospitals and government services. As concentrated poverty spreads to new areas, including suburbs, the residents are now more likely to be white, native-born and high school or college graduates, not the conventional image of high-school dropouts or single mothers in inner-city ghettos.

The more recent broader migration of the US population, including working- and middle-class blacks, to the South and to suburbs helps explain some of the shifts in poverty.

A study by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that the population of 133 historically black ghettos had dropped 36% since 1970, as the US black population growth slowed and many blacks moved to new areas. The newest residents in these ghettos are now more likely to be Hispanic, who have more than tripled their share in the neighborhoods, to 21%.Just over 7% of all African-Americans nationwide now live in traditional ghettos, down from 33% in 1970.

2B) … Scott Harris reports The 2010 Census Bureau Report on Poverty, Income and Health Insurance relates that overall, 46.2 million Americans live in poverty, a record number and the highest percentage in 27 years, officially wiping out all progress the US made toward eliminating poverty during the 1990s economic expansion

2C) … Inner city neighborhoods of concentrated poverty often contrast with wealthy neighborhoods nearby; as well as wealthy homeowners who have come via gentrification. Zip Atlas presents epicenters of severe poverty:

Birmingham, AL, 35203
Montgomery, AL, 36104
Marion,  AL, 39301

Little Rock, AR, 72201

Phoenix AZ, 85006

Oakland, CA, 94611, which contrasts with The Presidio San Francisco, and San Jose
San Bernadino, CA 92410, is America’s second poorest large city and California’s poorest city.
Moreno Valley, CA, 92557,
Fresno, CA 93701
Bakersfield, CA 93305
Arvin, CA 93203
Danville, CA 94568
Palmdale, CA 93550
Long Beach, CA 90813
Stockton, CA 95202
Merced, CA95340
Modesto, CA 95351
Sacramento, CA 95605
Porterville, CA 93257
Bell, CA 90201
Maywood, CA 90270
Hungtington Park, CA 90255

Pico Union, Los Angeles, CA 90006 Watts, Los Angeles, CA 90002 Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, CA 90023 Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, CA 90031 Westlake, Los Angeles, CA, 90057

Globeville, Denver, CO 80216

Black Rock / Grover Hill, Bridgeport, CT, 06605
Town Center, Hartford, CT, 06106, 06120
New Britain, CT, 06051
Ridgeway, Stamford, CT, 06905
Main St / Liberty, Waterbury, CT 06706
Fair Haven East New Haven, CT, 06513. The Yale Daily News reports 1 in 4 live in poverty in New Haven; the city had the second-highest poverty level in Connecticut.
All contrast with Springfield, Stamford, 06903, Danbury, and Norwalk, CT.

Washington DC, 20003, 20023

Jacksonville, FL 33206, 32206
West Palm Beach, FL 33401, 33407, 33404
Miami, FL, 33147, 33127
Orlando, FL, 32805, 38208
Tampa, FL, 33605,

Atlanta, GA, 30313, 30336
Albany, GA, 31701
Macon, GA, 31201

Kansas City, KS, 64106

Louisville, KY, 40203
Lexington, KY, 40508

Baton Rouge, LA, 70805, 70806, 70808
Monroe, LA, 71201
Alexandria, LA, 71301
New Orleans, LA, 70112, 70117,
Lake Providence, LA, 71254
Shreveport, LA, 71101
Monroe, LA, 71202
Ville Platte, LA, 70586

Old Hill, Springfield, MA, 01107, 01109
Mount Vernon, Lawrence, MA,  01810
New Bedford, MA, 02746
Holyoke, MA, 01040
South End, Boston, MA, 02118
Roxbury, Boston, MA, 02119,
Dorchester, Boston, MA, 02121,
Mattapan, Boston, MA, 02126,
Boston MA, 02120

A report released by the Boston Foundation and the Boston Indicators Project concludes that the city is in one of “the most unequal counties in the nation.” Much of the poverty is concentrated in the Roxbury, 02119, Dorchester, 02121, Mattapan, 02126, and South End, 02118, neighborhoods.

Baltimore, MD 21231, 21215, 21205, 21215

Lewiston, ME, 04240

Hamtramck MI 48211, 48212
Highland Park, MI, 48203
Detroit, MI, 48201
Detroit, MI, 48205
Detroit, MI, 48221
Flint, MI, 48505

Minneapolis, MN 55411

St Louis, MO, 63110, 63106,
East St Louis, MO, 62201

Greenville, MS 38701
Yazoo Zity, MS 39194
Canton, MS 39046
Clarksdale, MS 28614
Greenwood, MS 38930
Jackson, MS 39201

Lumberton, NC, 28538

Albuquerque, NM 87105

Charlotte, NC, 28206
Plymouth NC, 27962

Camden, NJ, 08105,  Newark, NJ, 07108, Ausbery Park, NJ, 07712,

Las Vegas, NV, 89030

Cincinnati, OH, 45201, 45203
Over The Rhine, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Cleveland, OH, 44104, 44105. 44110, 44115,
Kent OH, 44240 .
Colombus OH, 43201, 43219
Toledo, OH, 43604
Youngstown, OH 44510

Portland, OR, 97227

Philadelphia, PA 19120, 19121, 19123, 19133, 19134, 19143
Reading, PA, 19601

Providence, RI, 02909

North Charleston, SC, 29403, 29405

Memphis, TN,  38105, 38106, 38107, 38126, 38127
Chattanooga, TN, 37402
Nashville, TN 37023
Knoxville, TN 37915

Dallas, TX, 75210, 75215
Houston, TX, 77206
McAllen, TX, 78501
Cameron Park, TX, 78526
Brownsville, TX 78521
Mercedes, TX, 78570
Rome, TX 78584
El Paso, TX 79901
Rio Grande, TX 79901
San Antonio, TX 72807
Forth Worth, TX 76104
Laredo, TX 78046

Church Hill, Richmond, VA 23223

Seattle, WA 98104

Milwaukee, WI, 53202, 53205,

City of Welch, WV, 24801
Morgantown, WV, 26505

Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, actually made up of four neighborhoods
Stuyvesant Heights, 11216, 11221 and 11233
Ocean Hill, 11233
and Weeksville, 11238
Bushwick Brooklyn, 11221
Brownsville, Brooklyn, 11212
East Flatbush, Brooklyn, 11203
East New York, Brooklyn, 11207, 11208, and 11239
Crown Heights, Brooklyn, 11238
Fort Greene-Chelsea Brooklyn, 11215
Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, NY, 11201

South Bronx, Stats And Facts On The Bronx, Forty percent of the children live in poverty. Casa Atabex-Ache presents a community profile addresses environmental justice, health justice, and social justice issues. Bronx County ranks highest in poverty rate of any county in New York State. It also ranks highest in unemployment rate, lowest in homeownership, and highest in child poverty rate. which all contrast with Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Tribeca, West Village, and Greenwood Village, Manhattan,
Bronxdale, Bronx, NY, 10462,
West Farms, Bronx, NY, 10460,
Highbridge Bronx, NY, 10452,
Morrisania, Bronx, NY, 10465, 10457, 10459,
Soundview, Bronx, NY, 10472, 10473,
Hunts Point, Bronx, NY, 10474,
Castle Hill, Bronx, NY, 10462
Tremont, Bronx, NY, 10453
Mott Haven, Bronx, 10451,
Bronx, NY, 10455,
Wakefield, Bronx, 10466
Mott Haven, Bronx,10454, 10454
Melrose, Bronx, 10456,
Fordham, Bronx, NY10458,

East Harlem, Manhattan, NY, 10029, aka Spanish Harlem
Lower East Side, Manhattan, NY, 10002 aka Loisaida

South Jamaica, Queens, NY, 11434
Jamaica,  Queens, NY, 11430

Buffalo, NY 14202
Rochester, NY, 14605

Demographic sites report that Englewood, IL, is one of the most distressed neighborhoods in America. Neighborhood Scout reports Northwood High, 4515 Portola Parkway, Irvine, CA 92620, ranks as the 80th best school in America; while Robeson High School, 6835 S Normal Blvd, Chicago, IL 60621, ranks as the sixth worst school in America. And Wallet Pop ranks this the 25th most dangerous neighborhood in America. Other demographic sites provide information as well; these include: Blockshopper Englewood IL ….. Redfin Englewood IL ….. City-Data Englewood IL ….. AOL Englewood IL.   Also Neighborhood Scout relates that Wallace St. and 58th St. Chicago, IL 60621 is the 24rd worst neighborhood in America.

2D) … The Manhattan Institute conducts research into income inequality. And American Community Survey provides research information on poverty rates.

2E) … Fight Poverty relates Childhood poverty is generally related to the amount and quality of human and economic resources available to a child. Absence of fathers denies children crucial support.

Fathers are very important in the development of a child. Research overwhelmingly supports the benefits that accrue to children and families through positive father involvement. When children do not receive support from both parents, they lack crucial financial and personal resources in their lives. According to 2001 national data, among families in which children are living with their mothers and have noncustodial fathers, just under half receive child support payments.

For poor families, the likelihood of receiving child support is much lower, only about 36% receive payments. For those who receive child support, the average received is $2,550 per year, or $213 per month. For families with income between 100 and 200% of the poverty level, about 50% receive payments, and the average received is $3,980 per year, or $332 per month.

Under the best of circumstances, a father is a source of love, nurturance, guidance and support. Research shows that children need the care of both parents. Unfortunately, changing family structures and social and environmental pressure have left many children with just one parent.

During the 1990s, policy makers concentrated on reforming the welfare system to help get single mothers back into the workforce. Support systems with employment-based services were created to assist women meet the financial needs of their families. There has been little investment in low-income fathers, the other half of the parental equation.

Low-income fathers share many of the same characteristics as welfare mothers, minimal job skills, limited work history and low education levels. They can benefit from the same type of supports and services. Currently, no formal social service network exists to assist low-income fathers to become financial providers or help them gain skills to become better parents to their children.

Fathers and others, often judge their worth as parents by the financial contribution they can make. This notion is reinforced by systems that usually recognize fathers only after they fail to meet financial expectations. Men have far more to offer their children than financial support. Research demonstrates that children benefit in a variety of ways when they have significant positive involvement with their fathers. Children have fewer behavioral problems, higher levels of sociability, high level of school performance, demonstrate important problem solving skills and have increased cognitive capacities when their fathers are involved. It is of course, important to underscore the importance of financial support when we discuss the needs of poor children. Yet it is equally important to make clear that a father’s presence in his child’s life is important to the child’s well being and healthy development.

High levels of crime in some communities further isolate poor families with children. Family members in high-poverty urban neighborhoods are more likely to be victims of crime. Children in these neighborhoods are also more likely to have a parent,  usually a father,  go to prison. While information about the children of the incarcerated and the economic status of their families is not available, it is safe to assume that most of the incarcerated have come from, or have left behind, families that live at or below the poverty level.

Incarceration of a parent takes away a wage earner and further impoverishes children; it also increase the likelihood that a child will be an offender and imprisoned himself later in life. A child whose father is incarcerated is five to seven times more likely to be incarcerated later in life. Children who grow up with a parent in jail are more likely to live in low-income neighborhoods where they are exposed to violence, drugs, hunger, homelessness, abuse and mental health problems. Parents that are left raising a child alone because a partner or other parent is incarcerated is often left struggling financially, which can drag a family into poverty. Unintended consequences of incarcerated parents on children include problems with separation, caretaking, schooling, antisocial behavior during childhood, educational failure, precocious sexuality, premature departure from home, early childbearing and marriage, and idleness and joblessness during adolescence and early adulthood. Often times older children in families with an incarcerated parent are left to care for younger children, reducing the chances of school success.Children whose parents are in prison, like children of other parents who leave the home, are more likely to be raised by a non-parent

2F) … Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance presents Facts You Need to Know About Connecticut’s Children and Their Families

Living without sufficient family income places young children at risk of a wide range of adverse outcomes, including impaired health and development and lower school achievement. In Connecticut, poverty is also correlated with race and ethnicity.

Although a newborn’s brain is only about 25% of the size of an adult brain, it grows to 80% of its mature size during the first three years of life and to 90% by age five. At birth, a child has 100 billion brain cells, but they are not connected. As children learn, each cell can connect with up to 15,000 other brain cells. By age 2, the brain’s “wiring” can have about 100 trillion connections.

This rich neural network developed through early engagement with a stimulating and richly verbal environment provides the base for continued learning throughout the balance of childhood and the adult years of life. National data show clearly that not all children enjoy this kind of richly stimulating early development, and their early language development reflects this. Children of middle and upper income families, for example, enter kindergarten with a productive vocabulary of some 20,000 to 30,000 words, while lower-income children enter with only 5,000 to 6,000 words.

The CT State Department of Education reports annually on the number of four-year old children whose parents indicate that they attended some kind of formal learning environment within the six months before beginning kindergarten in the public schools. Across all communities, three-quarters of the state’s four-year olds (74%) are said to have been enrolled in a Head Start program, nursery school, licensed family day care home, licensed child care center, or public school prekindergarten in 2001. Twenty-two school districts report that 90% or more of their entering kindergartners attended preschool. Nine school districts report that 60% or fewer attended some kind of preschool setting. In the 2001-02 school year, 10,250 young children attended formal prekindergarten classes offered by local school districts. The Connecticut State Department of Education reports that 15,000 three- and four-year olds in priority school districts do not yet have access to needed full-day, full-year preschool experiences. At the same time, evidence is increasing that Connecticut’s high quality school readiness programs can decrease the numbers of children held back in kindergarten and first grade, decrease the need for elementary school special education designations, and reduce early reading performance gaps.

2G) … World Socialist Website relates Ten states had child poverty rates of 25 percent or higher, with the highest rates reported in Mississippi (32.5 percent), the District of Columbia (30.4 percent) and New Mexico (30.0 percent).

The child poverty rate has trended upward in the past 10 years. After falling slightly in the years 2006-2008, it has shot up following the 2008 financial collapse, rising 1.8 percentage points between 2008 and 2009 and then another 1.6 in the following year. It is now more than 20 percent for the first time since the surveys began.

About one out of every three children in poverty lived in the four most populous states of the country—California, Texas, Florida and New York. In these states, hard hit by the financial crash and the ongoing deindustrialization, a total of 5.6 million children are in this category.

As the official survey admits, “Children who live in poverty, especially young children, are more likely than their peers to have cognitive and behavioral difficulties, to complete fewer years of education, and, as they grow up, to experience more years of unemployment.”

The latest ACS survey of child poverty follows other recent data released by the Census Bureau, including a revised measure showing a 16.1 percent national poverty rate, compared to a rate of 15.2 percent. The Census reported 49.1 million in poverty, but also acknowledged that nearly double that figure, 98 million, or almost one third of the US population, is either poor or just above the poverty level.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt, seeking to save the capitalist system, declared in his second inaugural address, in January 1937, “I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clothed and ill-nourished.” This famous phrase, associated with the heyday of American liberalism, was delivered literally in the midst of the famous Flint sit-down strike, in the midst of a period of mass struggles and union organization.

Today, as the census figures attest, it would be no exaggeration to say that nearly one third of the nation struggles with many of the same issues as those of 75 years ago. But the current Democratic occupant of the White House, presiding over crisis-ridden and declining American capitalism, is completely silent on fighting poverty. Instead, the White House and congressional Democrats are engaged in behind-the-scenes negotiations with the Republican leadership to decide how many additional cuts will be made in programs like food stamps, unemployment benefits, Medicare, Medicaid and other life-and-death necessities for the working class, retirees and the poor.

2H) … Perhaps one might enjoy my articles Does Income Inequality Threaten Economic And Social Stability? and Society Is Becoming Ever More Pyramidal

2*) … Zip Atlas is an excellent research tool for finding demographic information.


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