Impoverished neighborhoods in the U.S. have been on the rise for the last several decades, and the COVID-19 crisis could exacerbate this growing inequality and leave many especially vulnerable to its health and economic effects.
According to U.S. Census Bureau data compiled by the Economic Innovation Group, high-poverty neighborhoods in the U.S. have nearly doubled since 1980 – going from 3,369 to 6,437 as of 2018. High-poverty neighborhoods are classified by at least 30 percent of a neighborhood’s population living below the poverty line.
The high increase in poverty brought on by the Great Recession at the end of the 2000s has failed to disappear, in fact only getting worse as the country approached the next decade. With COVID-19 bringing unprecedented levels of economic difficulties, these high-poverty neighborhoods are at an even greater risk of falling further into deeper levels of poverty.