Despite signs of economic recovery, the number of U.S. residents living in poverty remains stubbornly high. An average of 15.7% of the U.S. population lived below the poverty line during the three-year period of 2010-2012, a considerable increase from an average of 13.6% during the previous three-year period of 2007-2009.
In some of the nation’s smaller cities, poverty is an even more severe problem. In Eastpointe, Michigan, the poverty rate rose from 12.2% during 2007-2009, slightly below the U.S. average rate, to a 27.1% average rate during 2010-2012. According to the latest data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate in more than 20 cities with populations of 25,000 or more increased by at least 10 percentage points between those two three-year periods. 24/7 Wall St. examined the 10 cities with the biggest increases in poverty rates.
3. Goshen, Ind.
> Poverty increase: 13.3 ppt
> 2010-2012 Poverty rate: 27.0%
> Median household income: $38,155
> Population: 31,989
Between 2007 and 2012, unemployment in Goshen, Indiana, doubled from 4.5% to 9%. Extreme poverty in the area also shot up considerably. During the 2007-2009 period, 4.5% of households earned less than $10,000 per year. This was less than the nationwide proportion of 5.7% of households. By the 2010-2012 period, the figure increased to 13.5% of homes, compared to 7.5% nationally. According to Joe Frank at the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, the economy of Goshen relies very heavily on manufacturing. “When the worst of the recent recession hit, Elkhart County was one of the most affected counties in the US due to this reliance.” In the 2010-2012 period, 33.7% of the area’s workforce was employed in the manufacturing sector, the third-highest proportion in the country.