Axios: Coronavirus crisis expected to drag neighborhoods deeper into poverty

Axios, May 5, 2020: Coronavirus crisis expected to drag neighborhoods deeper into poverty

The number of high-poverty neighborhoods in the U.S. has increased at an alarming rate over the past 38 years, according to a new report out Tuesday from the Economic Innovation Group.

Why it matters: The analysis found that more and more neighborhoods that fall into poverty end up staying there. Stagnant wage growth in these places has made it very difficult for them to improve their fortunes even in good times — and that was before the severe economic crisis brought on by coronavirus.

Between the lines: In 1980, poor Americans were as likely to live in low-poverty communities as in high-poverty ones. Now, there’s a much higher chance that poor Americans live in high-poverty neighborhoods, meaning their exposure to economic opportunity and the social capital that fuels upward income mobility tends to be limited, said Kenan Fikri, one of the authors of the report.

  • “Combine that with the increasing income segregation that we’re seeing, and you have a picture of an economic opportunity crisis that was bad while the tape was playing. Now the tape has run out, and it’s poised to get significantly worse,” he added.
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