Milwaukee-Waukesha’s concentrated poverty rate is the highest in all of Wisconsin

Among the metro area’s poor population, 20.1% live in neighborhoods where four out of 10 residents live in poverty, the analysis found. The overall poverty rate in the metro area is 13.7%.

The Milwaukee-Waukesha metro area’s share of extreme poverty – neighborhoods where at least 40% of residents live below the poverty level – is the highest in Wisconsin, according to a new analysis from the website 24/7 Wall St.

Only eight states in the nation – Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming – have no metro areas with neighborhoods affected by extreme poverty, according to the study, which incorporates data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey.

Extreme poverty affects 43 out of 422 neighborhoods in Milwaukee-Waukesha, 24/7 Wall St. found. And the 2018 unemployment rate in these poor neighborhoods is 12%.

The poverty line in the United States stands at $12,760 in annual income for individuals, according to 24/7 Wall St. The number in poverty likely will climb due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to the analysis.

Nationwide, among the 43.5 million Americans who live under the poverty line, 9.6% live in communities deemed afflicted by extreme poverty. Those who reside in these high-poverty neighborhoods must deal with higher crime rates, fewer employment opportunities and lagging education options, the study found. 

Cities With the Most Concentrated Poverty in 2018, by State



State Metro Area Hardest Hit by Concentrated Poverty % of Poor Who Live in Neighborhoods With Extreme Poverty Overall Poverty Rate Neighborhoods With Concentrated Poverty 2018 Unemployment Rate in Poor Neighborhoods
Alabama Mobile 19.7% 19.3% 20 of 113 13.9%
Arizona Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale 13.8% 14.6% 49 of 975 8.5%
Arkansas Hot Springs 18.6% 18.6% 3 of 20 15.1%
California Fresno 33.2% 24.1% 35 of 198 14.5%
Colorado Pueblo 9.3% 18.9% 3 of 53 16.1%
Connecticut Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford 9.2% 10.0% 9 of 283 17.0%
Florida Tallahassee 16.7% 15.7% 6 of 75 18.0%
Georgia Albany 38.2% 25.2% 9 of 43 21.4%
Hawaii Urban Honolulu 5.4% 8.7% 3 of 228 15.5%
Illinois Springfield 23.8% 14.9% 7 of 56 12.3%
Indiana Muncie 29.5% 18.4% 6 of 27 13.0%
Iowa Waterloo-Cedar Falls 8.9% 13.8% 3 of 48 17.5%
Kansas Wichita 7.5% 13.3% 5 of 152 17.6%
Kentucky Bowling Green 15.4% 17.7% 3 of 37 6.7%
Louisiana Monroe 34.6% 23.1% 10 of 44 14.9%
Maine Bangor 19.8% 15.4% 2 of 45 8.8%
Maryland Baltimore-Columbia-Towson 8.1% 10.4% 22 of 668 15.6%
Massachusetts Springfield 27.4% 16.2% 16 of 133 16.2%
Michigan Flint 33.6% 19.8% 22 of 129 22.7%
Minnesota Duluth 13.9% 14.1% 6 of 84 6.4%
Mississippi Jackson 24.4% 17.1% 17 of 127 19.3%
Missouri Cape Girardeau 27.8% 17.5% 4 of 22 9.8%
Nebraska Lincoln 14.4% 12.4% 4 of 73 6.1%
Nevada Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise 5.1% 14.1% 10 of 487 13.6%
New Hampshire Manchester-Nashua 2.9% 8.1% 1 of 85 10.1%
New Jersey Trenton 17.2% 11.4% 5 of 75 18.8%
New Mexico Las Cruces 25.8% 27.5% 6 of 40 12.9%
New York Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls 23.4% 14.2% 26 of 291 9.5%
North Carolina Wilmington 13.2% 16.4% 4 of 56 10.9%
Ohio Toledo 29.0% 16.9% 27 of 161 15.7%
Oklahoma Lawton 15.3% 15.5% 3 of 33 14.1%
Oregon Medford 2.7% 16.3% 1 of 41 15.9%
Pennsylvania Reading 31.4% 12.8% 10 of 89 21.0%
Rhode Island Providence-Warwick 4.1% 12.5% 5 of 359 12.7%
South Carolina Charleston-North Charleston 10.4% 13.3% 7 of 151 9.6%
Tennessee Memphis 26.6% 18.6% 49 of 309 15.6%
Texas Laredo 52.3% 30.1% 25 of 60 7.0%
Utah Ogden-Clearfield 5.0% 8.0% 2 of 116 10.3%
Virginia Roanoke 15.5% 13.4% 3 of 65 8.6%
Washington Kennewick-Richland 9.3% 13.7% 1 of 48 8.3%
West Virginia Huntington-Ashland 11.1% 18.6% 7 of 92 10.8%
Wisconsin Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis 20.1% 13.7% 43 of 422 12.0%

Source: 24/7 Wall St.
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