Open Conference Systems, 50th Scientific meeting of the Italian Statistical Society

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Changes in poverty concentration in U.S. urban areas
Francesco Andreoli, Mauro Mussini

Last modified: 2018-05-18


This papers explores the changes in urban poverty concentration in U.S. cities in the 1980-2016 period. Since poverty is not evenly distributed between neighbourhoods in a city, poverty concentration is measured by calculating the Gini index of neighbourhood poverty rates. Data on poor and non-poor individuals living in census tracts within a city are used to calculate neighbourhood poverty rates. However, the Gini index is an a-spatial measure of poverty concentration; that is, the level of poverty concentration would remain the same if census tracts exchanged their poverty rates. Thus, the Gini index is broken down into spatial components to measure the extent to which poverty is concentrated between neighbouring census tracts and between non-neighbouring census tracts. The change over time in each spatial component of poverty concentration is decomposed to separate the contributions of changes in population distribution and neighbourhood poverty rate differentials.

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