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Consequences from the Redistribution of Urban Poverty During the 1990s: A Cautionary Tale.

September 2003

George C. Galster, College of Urban, Labor, and Metropolitan Affairs, Wayne State University.

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Conventional wisdom notwithstanding, the recent spatial redistribution of the urban poor does not necessarily bode well for the future. During the 1990s, the share of metropolitan population living in census tracts with high percentages (over 40 percent) of poverty indeed has fallen significantly, but the shares with 10-20 percent and 20-40 percent poverty rates have each risen one percentage point. These latter shifts are worrisome because many neighborhoods may have been pushed over their thresholds where poverty concentrations start to create significant externalities for neighbors.
Keywords: Concentrated poverty, threshold effects, neighborhoods

Poverty Trends and Measurement, Urban Poverty