Overview of Community Characteristics in Areas With Concentrated Poverty. Adult joblessness is pervasive in concentrated poverty communities.


In the average metropolitan concentrated poverty area, only 45 percent of the working-age population (age 16 and older) is employed, or looked at differently, the modal adult is jobless (i.e., unemployed or not in the labor force). The national employment-to-population ratio for the same time period (2007-2011) was 59 percent. Among all poor individuals in the United States who are over age 16, roughly 32 out of every 100 are employed.7

Nationally, male unemployment is higher than that of females (8.3% vs. 7.6%), the same pattern holds in these high poverty areas, but at more than twice the national levels for men and women. The average male unemployment rate in these areas is 17.3 percent; the average rate for females is 15.6 percent.

On average, household median income in these communities is $24,800, which is less than half of the national median. Further, none of these areas have median incomes above, or even close to, the national level. Most of the median incomes in these neighborhoods are between $17,000 and $31,500.

7 This number includes people over the age of 64 and those who are in school, and, as such, is lower than that of the working-age poor population between age 25 and 65.

View full report


"rb_concentratedpoverty.pdf" (pdf, 281.52Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®