There Are A Lot Of Poor People In These Parts
The headlines after yesterday's American Community Survey release of new numbers talked about declining incomes in the D.C. area's wealthier areas. But the more striking stats, fully enumerated by Kathryn Baer, have to do with dirt poor people in the District itself: The poverty rate is 19.2 percent, up 0.8 percent from 2009. The child poverty rate is 30.4 percent, up 7.7 percent over 2007. All of those numbers are higher than poverty rates in metropolitan areas nationally, which increased across the board.
The other shocking element, of course, is the inequality within the income numbers—especially around race. Black household median income is $37,430, as compared to the average of $60,903.
Interestingly, though, looking at American Community Survey numbers from 2009, incomes have actually improved over the last decade. The poverty rate for families was 16.7 percent in 1999, and declined to 14.6 percent in 2009. For individuals, it was 20.2 percent, and declined to 18.4 percent in 2009. Which may be due in part to the fact the increase in the number of wealthy people rather than a decrease in the absolute number of poor people.