Bloomberg ranked cities with at least 100,000 residents based on the percentage of population living in poverty.
Cities ranked in the top 50 were identified from a universe of 300 cities with an average poverty ratio of 19.1%. (The overall poverty ratio for the U.S. was 15.9% as of 2012.) The homeless population was not included. Bloomberg calculated the approximate total population living in poverty in each city and daily income per capita for household members living in the lowest quintile. Average household size was determined by weighting each city's total renter and owner-occupied units and their respective household size. Income excludes nonregular, noncash, in-kind income such as food stamps and housing vouchers. Many of those in the lowest quintile do not receive government assistance. According to latest Census and USDA estimates, 13.6% of all households receive food stamps averaging $256.18 per month ($124.69 per individual, or $4 a day worth of food stamps). According to data tabulated from HUD reports, approximately 2.1 million, or 1.86% of all households receive an average monthly housing voucher of $650. Per-household benefits vary widely due to different program qualifications and local real estate costs. Poverty level by educational attainment was based on population sample aged 25 and plus.
U.S. Census, U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
May 20, 2014