What appears to be a strong recovery in the District from the recession is masking a very troubling trend: a growing number of DC residents and families are living below the poverty line. The number of residents in poverty is now 25 percent higher than in 2007, before the start of the recession, according to newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The majority of the increase is from residents falling into deep poverty—or living on less than $12,000 a year for a family of four.
In the midst of rising poverty, the data also show that the income for the typical DC household has grown by $6,500. This highlights that many DC households are being left out of a growing economy and that many may be falling further behind.
Some 115,550 residents — or 18.9 percent of the DC population — lived below the poverty line in 2013, or on less than $24,000 a year for a family of four. This is a 25 percent increase in the number of people in poverty since 2007.
Much of the rise in poverty is a direct result of an increase in deep poverty. One in ten residents in DC lived below half the poverty line in 2013, or on less than $12,000 a year. The increase in people living in deep poverty accounts for more than two-thirds of the increase in people living in poverty. (See Figure 1.)
The income of the typical DC household was $65,600 in 2013, an increase of 11 percent from 2007 after adjusting for inflation. Unfortunately, this increase has not been shared broadly. Since 2007, only incomes for White residents have grown. In 2013, White, non-Hispanic households had a median income of $112,230, an increase of $8,230 since 2007. Black residents had a median income of $39,700 and Latino residents had a median income of $52,200 in 2013, neither of which has grown since 2007.
Stay tuned to the District’s Dime for more in-depth analysis of the changes in poverty and income since 2007.
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