New Data Shows Crushing Effect of the Recession on America's Disadvantaged

The Great Recession and its aftermath have taken a toll on most Americans, but as a new report from Pew’s Economic Mobility Project shows, it's been far worse for those that can least afford it.
November 16, 2012, 5am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Richard Florida examines the findings of the new report, titled "Weathering the Great Recession," which examines how the Great Recession has effected those living in high- versus low-poverty neighborhoods. As Florida notes, the report's central finding is that, "while 'the Great Recession had devastating impacts for families at every rung of the economic ladder,' it hit especially hard at families in high-poverty neighborhoods already 'experiencing hard times before the recession hit, making any additional losses that much more harmful to their economic prospects.'"

Just how much did the recession diminish the household wealth of those living in such neighborhoods? "While families in low-poverty neighborhoods lost more absolute wealth as a result of the Great Recession - $135,281 compared to $29,778 for high-poverty neighborhoods...These losses to high-poverty translated into a staggering 91 percent of their overall wealth compared to 47 percent for families in low-poverty neighborhoods...," writes Florida.

Meanwhile, as the AP reported this week, new Census numbers indicate that America's poor population continues to increase (now 49.7 million or 16.1% of the population, based on a new measure of poverty), despite the recovering economy. 

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Published on Thursday, November 15, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities
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