Follow us:

Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

November 7, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Poverty spikes in ’00s, although Seattle is spared the worst

The Brookings Institution has released a study of poverty in America’s 100 largest metros, and as you can guess the data aren’t pretty. More Americans are living in extremely high poverty areas. “After declining in the 1990’s, the population living in very poor areas increased by one-third between 2000 and the time period of 2005-09,” the report states. “The suburbs saw a rise in that number more than twice as fast as in the cities. The jump in poverty brought on by the recession suggests that more than 14 percent of poor people lived in extreme-poverty neighborhoods in 2010.”

The country saw the poor population grow by 12.3 million over the first decade of the 2000s. That pushed the total number of Americans in poverty to a historic high of 46.2 million. By 2009, more than 15 percent of the population lived below the federal poverty line, which was $22,314 for a family of four in 2010. Poverty rose twice as fast in the suburbs as in core cities.

Poverty increased in Seattle, although compared with most metros its not highly concentrated. The metro area ranked 93rd in neighborhood poverty rates from 2005 to 2009; the city ranked 89th and the suburbs 65th. More than 17,000 people are living in extreme poverty tracts. Metro Portland ranked 97th. Boise ranked 92nd. By comparison, for example, metro Phoenix ranked 43rd and 32nd in the suburbs. El Paso ranked No 2 while McAllen, Texas, came in at No. 1.

That said, more than 1.2 million, or more than 18 percent, of Washington’s population was on Food Stamps at some point in fiscal 2010. Concentrations included the Puget Sound region, including Tukwila, 32.2 percent; Kent, 31.8 percent; Burien 31.4 percent; Tacoma, 28.4 percent; SeaTac, 28.1 percent; Everett, 27.9 percent, and Lakewood, 27.2 percent.

Friday’s poll on President Obama’s election chances in view of the dismal economy still showed him pulling out a victory in 2012, with a relatively large number of respondents undecided.

And Don’t Miss: The zombie lies about banks and Wall Street’s culpability in causing the crash just won’t die. || Washington Post

Today’s Econ Haiku:

What would Homer write

About the Greek debt crisis?

Euro Iliad

Comments | More in Demographics, Income/living standards, Poverty

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►