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Phoenix neighborhoods becoming high poverty areas at alarming rate

The Phoenix metro area has seen an alarming increase of high poverty neighborhoods over the last four decades.

According to a study by Portland-based research group City Observatory, 57 Phoenix neighborhoods went from a 15 percent poverty rate in 1970 to a 30 percent or more poverty rate in 2010. Only three cities, New York, Detroit and Chicago, have had more neighborhoods decline.

Phoenix has the third-most residents living in those neighborhoods. Only New York and Detroit have more than Phoenix’s 96,700.

South Phoenix is the most impoverished area of the Valley according to the study.

Overall, Phoenix has 145,537 people living in high poverty, seventh most in the country. Phoenix is the 12th most populous metropolis in the country with about 4.3 million residents, according to the Census Bureau.

Editor’s note: The original version of this story classified Laveen as an impoverished area. That was incorrect.