More than 50 million Americans live in economically distressed communities, according to a startling new report from the nonprofit Economic Innovation Group.
The report, which examines economic distress across tens of thousands of ZIP codes, finds one-fifth them to be in economic distress. In the average distressed ZIP code, around 25 percent of adults lack a high school diploma, and a whopping 55 percent are not working.
The interactive map the have produced paints a stark picture of neighborhood distress and spatial inequality across the United States. Dark red shows the most distressed neighborhoods, light red reflects distressed places, relatively prosperous communities are in lighter green, and the most prosperous communities are in dark green.
In the period of recovery following the Great Recession, the authors find, jobs in the median U.S. ZIP code grew at less than half the national rate. While some communities are currently enjoying the fruits of the recovery, others have sunk further into poverty.
Too many Americans live in distressed neighborhoods, and too few cities combine growth with inclusive prosperity.
According to the authors, this pattern of distress vs. prosperity not only “diverges between cities and states but even more starkly within cities at the neighborhood level.”