Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Continental Poverty Divide

This map is a bit old (1999) but shows some interesting patterns in wealth and poverty. It is part of the Centers for Disease Control's Maps That Make a Difference series. Among other things, it highlights a north/south "continental* poverty divide."

The map also highlights outlier counties-places in the south with lower levels of poverty and in the north with higher levels. Outliers in the south mostly seem to be around large cities, mostly in the suburban counties. There are clear rings around Dallas, Atlanta and Nashville.

Northern outliers are more diverse. The most clear ones are the counties with Indian Reservations but there also seem to be concentrations in counties with colleges and military bases. Also, some of the larger cities show up such as Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Partially this is a result of these cities being either independent counties, or taking up most of the county with much of their wealth concentrated in the adjacent suburban counties.

*It is US-centric to refer to this as a "continental" divide but given the demographics of Canada, Mexico and Central America, this may very well be an accurate description.

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