Census Data Rates Memphis As Poorest City In America
Over 19% of population lived in poverty last year
Three Six Mafia wasn't lying when they said it's "Hard Out Here For A Pimp." According to Census date, their hometown Memphis is the poorest metro area in the nation.
The Commercial Appeal reports:
With nearly one in five residents stuck below the poverty line, metropolitan Memphis ranks as by far the most impoverished large metro area in the nation, new census figures show.
Of the 1.3 million people in the eight-county metro area, an estimated 246,265 -- 19.1 percent -- lived in poverty last year, according to figures released Thursday from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey.
That poverty rate, although a slight improvement from the 19.4 percent estimate for 2009, was the highest among the 51 U.S. metro areas with populations of at least 1 million. Metropolitan New Orleans, with an estimated 17.4 percent of residents living in poverty, had the second-highest rate...
Not surprisingly, the census figures for the Memphis area show the highest poverty levels persist in the urban core. Within Memphis city limits, an estimated 26.5 percent of residents were living in poverty, up from 26.2 percent in 2009.
But within the city and across the metro area, the group experiencing the most chronic poverty was Hispanic residents. Of the estimated 62,343 Hispanic people in the eight-county area, 38.6 percent lived below the poverty line in 2010 -- a rate well above the 28.6 percent for African-Americans and 9.6 percent for white residents, the figures show...
Women and children also were more likely to live in poverty than were other groups, according to the data. An estimated 27.6 percent of the under-18 population languished below the poverty line, as did 20.8 percent of females.
The median household income for the metro area rose slightly to $45,377, compared to the national figure of $50,046. But inside the city of Memphis, it was a mere $37,045.
An estimated 18.9 percent of the metro area's residents received food stamps (now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), up from 17 percent in 2009.
One category in which the metro area compared favorably to national statistics was health insurance. An estimated 16 percent of local residents lacked health insurance, compared to the national rate of 22.3 percent.
The report also brought light to the city having an under educated labor force. With financial squabbling in the Memphis City School System almost keeping the 2011 school year from starting, it looks as if the city's poverty may become generational.
And in case you're wondering, yes, Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West's Poverty Tour did stop through this year.