SE’s Andrew Beveridge in the Times on Extreme Poverty in Reading, PA by Sydney Beveridge
The recent release of the 2010 census data offers new information about the impact of the recession around the country. In the article “Reading, Pa., Knew It Was Poor. Now It Knows Just How Poor,” Sabrina Tavernise explores widespread poverty in Reading, PA:
a struggling city of 88,000 that has earned the unwelcome distinction of having the largest share of its residents living in poverty, barely edging out Flint, Mich., according to new Census Bureau data. The count includes only cities with populations of 65,000 or more, and has a margin of error that makes it difficult to declare a winner — or, perhaps more to the point, a loser.
Reading began the last decade at No. 32. But it broke into the top 10 in 2007, joining other places known for their high rates of poverty like Flint, Camden, N.J., and Brownsville, Tex., according to an analysis of the data for The New York Times by Andrew A. Beveridge, a demographer at Queens College.
The article reveals that:
- The city’s poverty rate is now 41.3 percent (edging out Flint, MI)
- The employment rate in Reading dropped by 10 percent from 2000 to 2010
- Only about 63 percent of Reading’s residents have a high school diploma, compared with more than 85 percent nationally. (For a further discussion of education and income, check out Social Explorer’s Back to School series.)
A chart of the most impoverished cities accompanies the article (based on data from Andrew Beveridge and the Census Bureau).