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Poverty Estimates for Places in the United States


  • Daniel Weinberg


This paper first describes some historical poverty trends, overall and for demographic groups and broad locations within the U.S. from an ongoing household survey, and then presents some specific information on poverty for localities by size, from the most recent decennial census (2000). Rural poverty exceeded urban poverty in 1969 and 1979, but urban poverty in 1999 was higher than rural poverty. Non-metropolitan area poverty exceeded metropolitan area poverty in each of the four censuses, but within each of those areas, rural poverty is now less than urban poverty. Within metropolitan areas, poverty is highest for those in central cities. For urbanized areas (50,000 or more population), the poverty rate is lower as the area gets larger, with the exception of the very largest-sized areas. This higher poverty for the largest places is accounted for entirely by the higher poverty rate for the central city or cities in those urban agglomerations, as the poverty rates for the parts of the urbanized areas not in the central place continue to fall as the area itself gets larger. Some of the critical relationships affecting the poverty rate of places appear to be the location of certain types of people - female householders, non-citizens, people of color, and college graduates.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Weinberg, 2005. "Poverty Estimates for Places in the United States," Working Papers 05-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:05-12

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Weber, Bruce A. & Jensen, Leif, 2004. "Poverty And Place: A Critical Review Of Rural Poverty Literature," Working Papers 18913, Oregon State University, Rural Poverty Research Center (RPRC).
    2. Partridge, Mark D. & Rickman, Dan S., 2005. "Persistent Pockets Of Extreme American Poverty: People Or Place Based?," Working Papers 18907, Oregon State University, Rural Poverty Research Center (RPRC).
    3. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
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