WORCESTER – From 2010 to 2016, Worcester saw an uptick in the number of poor neighborhoods and poverty across the city, according to a recent report published by finance news outlet 24/7 Wall St.
The report — Cities Hit Hardest by Extreme Poverty — which was published in mid-April and republished by USA Today later in the month, reveals that the concentrated poverty increased in Worcester by more than 6,000 people and unemployment in those neighborhoods reached 16.1%.
24/7 Wall St. listed Worcester at #20 of the 20 cities that saw the most growth in poverty across the country since 2010.
The report stated:
“Since 2010, the share of the Worcester metro area’s poor population living in neighborhoods where at least 40% of the population live below the poverty line increased by 3.6 percentage points to 12.0%. The increase in concentrated poverty was more rapid than in all but 19 other metro areas nationwide. Over the same period, the number of Worcester neighborhoods in which at least 40% of the population are poor doubled from four to eight.
Despite the rapid increase in concentrated poverty in the metro area, Worcester is not as poor as the country as a whole. Both the metro area’s overall poverty rate of 11.4% and concentrated poverty rate of 12.0% are below the corresponding national rates of 14.2% and 12.9%.”
Worcester, along with Boise and Omaha, are the only cities on the list that saw an increase in poverty since 2010 while remaining at a lower poverty rate than the 14.2% U.S. rate.
The five cities hit hardest across America by poverty are Detroit, Albuquerque, Springfield, MA [the only other New England city on the list] and Fresno and Bakersfield, CA.
24/7 Wall St. gathered their information by reviewing poverty rates data from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey. The concentrated poverty rate, according to the report, “is the share of a metropolitan area’s poor population that lives in a census tract characterized by extreme poverty — having a poverty rate of 40% or higher.”