November 19, 2014
IT IS FITTING that yesterday's announcement of Pope Francis' pending visit to Philadelphia fell on the same day as a citywide summit on poverty. The pope has been vocal and consistent in his concern for the world's poor. His focus has come at a very apt time: As the gap between rich and poor grows wider, at the same time compassion for those less fortunate seems to have diminished. Although the occasion of the pope's visit is the World Meeting of Families to be held here, if he wishes the pontiff will have plenty of poor people to visit while he's here.
November 17, 2014 |
Shared Prosperity Philadelphia - the city's plan to tackle its staggeringly deep poverty rate - has made important strides in its first year of existence, but there's no time for celebration yet. "The challenge is that we're still a desperately poor city," said Eva Gladstein, executive director of the Mayor's Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, which oversees the program. "Poverty effects 397,000 people - 123,000 of whom are children - in Philadelphia. " In Shared Prosperity's first progress report , released today at the Uniting to Fight Poverty Summit at the Community College of Philadelphia, the success of community partnerships, the greater availability of resources for the poor and increased grant funding were heralded as successes.
October 13, 2014 |
Latinos have the highest rate of poverty of any racial or ethnic group in Philadelphia. In the city, 44 percent of Latinos live in poverty - twice the national rate of 23.5 percent. The overall Philadelphia poverty rate is 26.3 percent. Latino poverty prevails throughout most of the region as well, both in the Pennsylvania suburbs and in South Jersey. In six of the eight counties in the region - Bucks and Chester Counties being the exceptions - Latinos have the highest poverty rate of all groups.
September 26, 2014 |
Already the poorest big city in America, Philadelphia also has the highest rate of deep poverty - people with incomes below half of the poverty line - of any of the nation's 10 most populous cities. Philadelphia's deep-poverty rate is 12.2 percent, or nearly 185,000 people, including about 60,000 children. That's almost twice the U.S. deep-poverty rate of 6.3 percent. Camden's deep-poverty rate of 20 percent is more than three times the national mark, but its population is a fraction of Philadelphia's.
September 19, 2014
THE U.S. CENSUS released figures this week that show that the national poverty rate has decreased for the first time since 2006. Don't rush to plan a victory parade, though. The percentage of people in poverty has dropped slightly, but the implications are more mathematical than practical: Median household income has remained the same, and the number of those in poverty in 2013 - 45.3 million - is about the same as the year before. And worse news: The percentage of people living below the poverty level in the Philadelphia metro area rose slightly from 2010 to 2013, from 12.7 percent to 13.5 percent; poverty rates in the city fell slightly.
September 19, 2014 |
New Jersey registered the highest increase in the number of poor people in America between 2012 and 2013, while poverty dropped slightly in Philadelphia. In South Jersey, which includes Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester Counties, an additional 12,145 people became impoverished, a spike of 10 percent that year. In Philadelphia, while 9,000 residents moved out of poverty - a dip from 26.9 percent to 26.3 percent - the city was still the poorest of America's 10 largest cities. The findings were compiled in the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey One-Year Estimates, a huge and diverse set of data based on a survey of people living at 3.5 million addresses throughout the nation.
September 18, 2014 |
The U.S. poverty rate has decreased for the first time since 2006, according to U.S. Census figures released Tuesday. Children's poverty also declined, while median household income barely changed between 2012 and 2013. The report further shows that 42 million people, 13.4 percent of Americans, were without health-insurance coverage in 2013. The data were compiled in the 2014 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which describes conditions in 2013.
September 4, 2014 |
Hoping to stabilize the dilapidated West Philadelphia neighborhood of Mantua, the city wants to entice police officers and firefighters to move into the struggling area - with cash to help buy homes and pay taxes on them. Officials think having police and firefighters living in Mantua and interacting as neighbors with residents would improve the quality of life in the area. But even with the cash incentives, the initial $200,000 program could be a hard sell. "It's a good idea," said Joe Schulle, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 22. "However, our guys are still going to be reluctant to move into transient neighborhoods if they have kids and families.
February 7, 2014 |
IN A CITY already struggling with a high poverty rate, some Asian ethnic groups are faring worse than the average. About 41 percent of Cambodians in Philadelphia are in poverty, as are about 33 percent of Chinese (not including those from Taiwan), and about 31 percent of Vietnamese. In contrast, the poverty rate for Philadelphia as a whole was 25 percent in the Census Bureau's 2006-10 American Community Survey estimates, used for the poverty figures. The findings were highlighted in a new report, A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the Northeast , released yesterday by a consortium of Asian-American organizations.
January 29, 2014
FIFTY years ago, Lyndon Johnson used his first State of the Union address to declare a war on poverty. At that time, 19 percent of Americans lived below the poverty line. Thanks to the programs created during Johnson's war - including Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps and Head Start, among others - poverty was cut by one quarter over three years. Today, at 16 percent, the poverty rate is just three percentage points below 1964's high-water mark; the United States now has 11 million more people living in poverty than it did 50 years ago. Tonight, during his State of the Union address, President Obama is expected to deliver what many might consider a system upgrade - version 2.0 of the war on poverty.