Poverty and income insecurity are growing issues in many communities across the nation. In the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, about one in eight residents (or 284,000 people) had incomes below the official US poverty level in 2012, and an additional 192,000 people were just above the poverty threshold. This report, commissioned by the Pittsburgh Foundation, expands on the Urban Institute’s 2012 report, Understanding Trends in Poverty in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area by updating data on poverty in the region and the nonprofit organizations that provide services in the region. Poverty and economic insecurity present thorny challenges for policymakers and community leaders who want to improve the region’s quality of life, strengthen its economic base, and build the capacity of the local nonprofit sector.
Poverty Trends in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area
The US economy has rebounded since the Great Recession of 2007, but there are lingering and troubling signs of economic insecurity. The recovery bypassed some parts of the region, leaving relatively high levels of poverty and creeping income inequality in local communities. In the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, poverty rates have steadily risen from 10.6 percent in 2000 to 11.5 percent in 2007, and they reached 12.3 percent in 2012. For the seven counties that make up the Pittsburgh metro, poverty rates ranged from 8 to 19 percent. Except for Fayette County, the poverty rates of counties in the region have been at or lower than the state and national averages.
Read more of this report from The Pittsburgh Foundation here.