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Alabama city beats national statistics with large decline in poverty

Downtown Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Photo: Stacy McCants)
Downtown Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Photo: Stacy McCants)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.  — In September, The U.S. Census Bureau announced that they hadn’t found significant changes in the official national poverty rate from 2013 to 2014, highlighting their conclusion that claimed major metro areas in the U.S. have experienced increases in poverty over the last 10 years. A personal finance company in New York, SmartAsset, disagrees with U.S. Census Bureau’s claims, arguing that smaller metros in the U.S. haven’t seen increases in poverty, but have actuallyseen significant declines over last 10 years ago.

SmartAsset listed Tuscaloosa, Alabama, #9 on their Top 10 Places Where Poverty is Falling the Fastest list. SmartAsset’s analysis of Census Bureau data found that not only has poverty fallen in the Tuscaloosa area, it had plummeted.

The nation’s official poverty rate, as of 2014 is 14.8 percent, which translates to 46.7 million people.

To name a few employers in the Tuscaloosa area, the Druid City is home to the University of Alabama, student body of over 37,000, it’s a key employer and driver of the cities economy. The Mercedes Benz plant is a major car manufacturer that is responsible for more than 22,000 direct or indirect jobs in the region.

Today the metro area’s population has increased from 189,000, (2005), to about 236,000 (2015). The number of people living below the poverty line in the Tuscaloosa area has fallen by more than 3,000 over the last decade.

To reach that conclusion, SmartAsset analyzed data on more than 370 of the largest metro areas in the United States and used a holistic approach, considering multiple measures of poverty and poverty growth.

To read about the methodology of SmartAsset’s analysis and see where Tuscaloosa ranked, please click here.


 

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