Census Data show increase in poverty in parts of Philadelphia

The front page article of the Philadelphia Inquirer featured a story on the rise of poverty in parts of the City over the last decade. The article described a startling 62% increase in poverty in communities in Northeast Philadelphia during that time.

This news inspired us to take a closer look at poverty data here in our hometown. The maps below show the percent of people living in poverty, with the darkest purple indicating the highest rates of poverty — in excess of 50% of the population!

The map on the left shows the percent living in poverty in 2000 according to the Decennial Census. The map on the right shows the estimated percent living in poverty in 2007-2011, according to Census’ American Community Survey (ACS). As you can see, the maps below tell a very sad story. There is a pronounced increase in the darkest purple shade across much of North Philly.


In related and more upbeat news, the story in the Inquirer was made possible by the Census’ release of the new 2008-2012 five-year estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS). We are excited to update all the ACS data on PolicyMap in early 2014. For those of you with PolicyMap widgets or using data from our API rest easy, your data will update automatically.