Overview of Community Characteristics in Areas With Concentrated Poverty. Racial and ethnic minorities are overrepresented in the concentrated poverty population, and concentrated poor communities in metropolitan areas are often highly segregated.

05/01/2014

Less than one-third of the U.S. population is black or Hispanic, yet four out of every five people living in metropolitan concentrated poverty communities are black or Hispanic. Although only 12.2 percent of the U.S. population and 19.6 percent of the poverty population is black, nearly 40 percent of people living in areas of concentrated poverty are black. Similarly, just over 16 percent of the U.S. population and 23 percent of the poverty population is Hispanic, but nearly 40 percent of the total population living in communities of concentrated poverty is Hispanic.

Regional variation in the racial composition of these areas is most dramatic for Hispanic and black populations. For example, over two-thirds of individuals living in areas of concentrated poverty in the West are Hispanic, and only one in 10 individuals in these communities is black. Alternatively, in the Midwest region, black individuals account for 60 percent of the region’s high poverty area population, and just over one in 10 individuals is Hispanic.

Figure 1: Racial Distribution by Population Subgroup

Figure 1: Racial Distribution by Population Subgroup

Racial Distribution by Population Subgroup


Metro Con. Pov. Pop.

RacePercentage
White16.5
Hispanic39.9
Black39.5
Native American0.3
Asian2.3
Other1.5

All < 100% FPL

RacePercentage
White39.1
Hispanic23.1
Black19.6
Native American1.3
Asian3.4
Other13.4

U.S. Population

RacePercentage
White64.2
Hispanic16.1
Black12.2
Native American0.7
Asian4.7
Other2.1

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