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USA Today Highlights U.S. Cities Dealing with Crippling Poverty

USA Today Highlights U.S. Cities Dealing with Crippling Poverty

No Region of the Country is Immune 

Poverty has been an unfortunate aspect of America’s major urban centers for generations. Extreme, grinding poverty however is seen as a major threat to the lives of countless individuals and families from coast to coast who have lost everything they have, with few recourse to social services. 

USA Today recently reported on the 20 U.S. cities most affected by extreme poverty, with Bakersfield, CA having the most trouble caring for its poor.  The percentage of the city’s poor living in extreme poverty conditions is more than twice what it was just six years ago, from just over 16% to 32.5%, which is the largest jump seen across major U.S. cities. 

Bakersfield shares the list of 20 American cities hit hardest by extreme poverty with a pair of other California centers in Fresno and the Sacramento metropolitan area.  The former is struggling with the highest concentrated poverty rate in the nation at 42.2%, while the state’s capital is seeing nearly 1 in 6 residents living with poverty after boasting a poverty rate that was better than the national average just eight years ago.

Ohio similarly has multiple cities wrestling with serious poverty: Youngstown has seen a substantial increase of nearly 7 percentage points since 2010 in residents living in high poverty areas while Toledo saw a similar rise, and Cleveland neighborhoods with at least 4 in 10 residents living in poverty increase by 30 since 2010.

From coast to coast, urban areas are seeing worrying increases in the percentage of residents straining under the weight of severe poverty.  The task of alleviating the situation has fallen to policy makers and local rescue missions withthe help of generous individuals.

To see the entire list of U.S. cities, take a look at the Galleries section on the USA Today website by clicking here.