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Report: Phoenix metro area hit hard by extreme poverty

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

PHOENIX — Although the United States is years past the recession that hit the country hard and both jobs and incomes are on the rise, there is still extreme poverty around the nation.

According to MSN, the Phoenix metro area has been hit second-hardest out of the whole country by extreme poverty.

MSN reports that, “In 2015, 14.6 percent of Americans lived in poverty, compared to the 12.4 percent who did in 2009.”

When it comes to Phoenix, Scottsdale and Mesa in particular, the poverty rate is 17 percent.

About 176,000 of the Phoenix metro area’s 737,000 poor people live in extremely poor neighborhoods. While people living in poverty face a number of disadvantages, living in very poor neighborhoods can have other wide-reaching negative effects. Poor people living in these areas are less likely to receive a good education, more likely to have worse mental and physical health, and to have greater difficulty climbing the socioeconomic ladder than poor people living in higher-income areas. While there are about 21,000 poor white Phoenix residents living in high-poverty neighborhoods, there are nearly six times as many poor Hispanics living in such conditions.

Nationally, the number of high poverty neighborhoods rose from 1,900 in 2009 to 2,700 in 2015, according to MSN.

They labeled Bakersfield, California, as the city hit hardest by extreme poverty, with Tucson, Arizona, coming in ninth.

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