Poverty Rate Drops in St. Louis City But the Region Sees No Improvement

By on October 5, 2018

From St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  The poverty rate in the city of St. Louis is dropping, following a national trend. But for the region as a whole, there appears to be a small uptick as suburbs become more diverse.

That’s the takeaway from new figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, which offers an annual sampling of economic trends throughout the country.

Of the 53 metropolitan areas with populations of more than 1 million people, seven saw bumps in poverty rates. But those increases are small and most fall within the margin of error used in sampling the country’s population, including the St. Louis region.

What the new numbers do offer, however, is a glimpse of economic trends as the country prepares for its next official count, the 2020 Census.

“The general view is that as suburbs become more diverse demographically, with a dispersion of minorities, there is also more (economic) disparity in the suburbs,” said William Frey, a senior fellow and Census expert with the Brookings Institution.

The new Census data also looks at household income, which for the St. Louis region, shows some good news. The median household income for 2017 was $61,571, up about $800 from the year before. That is well above the median household income statewide, which was $53,578 last year. Like Missouri, Illinois saw a slight increase, up, about $1,200, to $62,992.

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