Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Census figures round up: Part 2

Here is some more local coverage of the recent US Census Data release. Reflecting data collected from 2005-2007. First from the Chicago Tribune.

The southern Chicago suburb of Dolton ranks 10th on the list of small-and-medium-sized U.S. cities that have seen the biggest jumps in poverty.

New census data show the poverty rate has increased 8.4 percent since 1999 to 18.3 percent in the village of Dolton. The east-central city of Charleston ranked 12th on the list, with a poverty rate of 40 percent -- up 30 percent since 1999.

Next from your humble blogger's home state of Michigan. Linda Angelo writes for the Flint Journal.

Everywhere from blue-collar Burton to the wealthier Grand Blanc Township, people are having a tough time making a living. Those who help the poor are noticing the change.

"We're seeing a little bit of a climb and expect in the next few years to see that accelerate and that's because the folks who are outside of the city traditionally had a broader support system compared to those who have always been isolated in poverty in the city," said Steve Walker, executive director of the Genesee County Community Action Resource Department.

"Their available discretionary income is shrinking -- the families and friends they could go to (and) ask for assistance, there's less available at this point in time."

Taking the biggest hit is Burton, which had 12.1 percent of its families living below the poverty level between 2005 and 2007. That's more than double the poverty rate in 2000 when it was 5.5 percent.

The numbers are part of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey -- the first statistical "portrait" since the 2000 Census for more than 2,500 midsize counties, cities and towns with populations between 20,000 and 64,999.

Finally another perspective from Colorado, Amy Bounds writes for the Daily Camera.

Before the recession hit, this city already was seeing a significant increase in the number of residents living in poverty.

The number of Lafayette residents whose income levels were below the poverty line jumped 68 percent from 2000 to 2007, according to new data for mid-sized cities released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. It’s estimated that 2,745 people — or 11 percent of Lafayette’s population — are living in poverty.

Ruth Perry, food bank manager at Lafayette’s Sister Carmen Community Center, said that number is likely even higher now.

In the past couple of months, she said, she’s seen as much as a 40 percent increase in the number of clients using the food bank. On a busy day last year, the food bank’s customers numbered in the low 20s. One day last week, Perry counted 48 people picking up canned goods, dairy products and other food.

“It’s been staggering,” she said.

The new census data was compiled from the American Community Survey given in more than 2,500 counties, cities and towns nationwide with populations that ranged from 20,000 to 64,999. The surveys were given from 2005 to 2007 and the results averaged.

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