Demographics beat: Poverty marker doubles for Minnesota

  • Article by: DAVID PETERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 3, 2014 - 7:02 PM

The portion of Minnesotans living in areas of concentrated poverty roughly doubled over the first decade of this century, a new analysis shows.

But the new figure is still modest by national standards.

And the change for the worse was not as swift as occurred in comparable states such as Oregon and Colorado.

In Minnesota, the share of people living in high-poverty zones rose from 6.3 to 13.2 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to a newly released U.S. Census Bureau study.

That was not hugely different in magnitude from what was happening in the Midwest as a whole. Our region shot from about 12 percent to about 22 percent.

Among states, Minnesota’s 6.8 percentage-point increase in folks living in poverty zones was less than the 7.6-point increase for the nation and less (sometimes far less) than that of benchmark states such as Washington, Colorado or Oregon. It was slightly less than for neighbors Iowa and Wisconsin.

The biggest improvement (a rare achievement, considering that the decade started out prosperous and ended in big trouble) came in the District of Columbia, which has seen a dramatic gentrification push.

If it seems a bit late in 2014 to be finally deciding what happened from 2000 to 2010, blame it on the U.S. Census’ new stripped-back form. Most questions on topics such as income and poverty are now asked only on surveys, which means it takes a while to amass enough responses to see what happened.

The full text can be found athttp://tinyurl.com/me9fkt5.

David Peterson • 952-746-3285

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