Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Mapping US Poverty

Todd County in South Dakota is the county with the most people living in poverty in the United States. According to the 2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates over 55% of the population of Todd County are living in poverty. In fact five counties in South Dakota feature in the list of the top ten counties with the highest proportion of the population living below the poverty line.

You can explore the levels of poverty across the United States for yourself on Overflow Data's interactive map Which U.S. Counties Have the Most People Living in Poverty?. This choropleth map visualizes the proportion of the population living below the poverty line at the county level. On the map you can make out the Black Belt in the American South, which is traditionally an area with high levels of poverty. Outside of the Black Belt, as well as South Dakota, the state of New Mexico stands out as having a number of counties where large percentages of the local population live in poverty. 

The Overflow Data map also allows you to view the percentage of children in each state living in poverty and / or the percentage of adults below the poverty line

The Economic Innovation Group's High Poverty Map is another interactive map which uses 2018 American Community Survey data to explore poverty in the United States. This interactive map compares the metro neighborhoods in the United States which had high levels of poverty in 2018 with those which were in high poverty in 1980 but have since successfully turned around.

On the interactive map high-poverty census tracts are colored to show if they are newly poor, persistently poor, deepening poverty or turned around. If you select one of these colored neighborhoods you can view the poverty rate in that census tract for the years 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010 & 2018.

Alongside the interactive map the Economic Innovation Group has published a number of city profiles. These profiles provide a detailed analysis of poverty levels in some of America's largest cities. For example the city profile for New York notes that although the city still has a high number of neighborhoods in poverty the number of high-poverty neighborhoods has dropped sharply since 1980. In Los Angeles the number of high-poverty neighborhoods has increased a lot since 1980. Unlike New York it has seen very few neighborhoods transition from high-poverty to low-poverty.

No comments: