For the past half century the poverty rate for African Americans has been three times higher than the poverty rate for White Americans. Through good economic times and bad, Democratic or Republican administrations, there has been some fluctuations in rates but the racial gap has remained relatively constant.
Now a new report by the Center for Urban Research and Education at the Camden, New Jersey, campus of Rutgers University and the Century Foundation shows that concentrated poverty in the United States is on the rise. Concentrated poverty is defined as census tracts where 40 percent of the households live below the federal poverty income threshold of $23,000 for a family of four.
The report found that there are more census tracts of concentrated poverty than ever before. More than 11 million Americans, 4 percent of the total U.S. population, live in these high poverty neighborhoods. The report found that 67 percent of the 11 million people in these high poverty areas are either Black or Hispanic.