Poverty in Pima County
The quality of life that individuals in our community can enjoy, and that their children are likely to enjoy in the future, is shaped to a remarkable extent by the amount of poverty in the neighborhoods in which they live. If we examine the differences across our region in terms of the proportions of families in a census tract that were in poverty in the previous year, we see that there is considerable variation. Unfortunately, it is also clear that several neighborhoods have comparatively high levels of poverty (greater than 20 percent).
In 2011, The Brookings Institution reported that concentrated poverty was also increasing across the country, although the increases were greater in some regions than in others. These areas of “extreme poverty,” where the percentage of poor families in a census tract exceed 40%, represent grave prospects for the futures of youngsters who grow up in them. The Tucson Metro area ranked 27th among the 100 largest metro areas in terms of concentrated poverty, and 18th in terms of increased concentrations of poverty between 2000 and 2009. In comparison, the Phoenix metro area ranked 43rd in concentration rate, and 60th in terms of its increase.