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In the Twin Cities, Areas of Concentrated Poverty Are on the Rise

In the Twin Cities, Areas of Concentrated Poverty Are on the Rise

Part one of a four-part blog

A recent MinnPost article by staff writer and data specialist Greta Kaul reveals that over the past four decades, the number of Twin Cities’ neighborhoods classified as Areas of Concentrated Poverty (ACP) has more than doubled. For example, in 1980, there were a total of 19 neighborhoods in Hennepin and Ramsey counties that met this classification. Today, the number of ACPs in the two counties anchored by the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul has swelled to 41.

In a 2018 report, the Metropolitan Council noted that ACPs are defined as census tracts “where 40 percent or more of residents are living with incomes below 185% of the federal poverty threshold.” The council’s report also highlights a new subset of ACP census tracts where 50 percent or more of that neighborhood’s residents are people of color known as ACP50s. 

Kaul, citing a pair of studies by the Economic Innovation Group (as part of its Neighborhood Poverty Project), explains that there are four categories that researchers have divided ACPS census tracts into:

  • Newly poor
  • Deepening poverty
  • Persistently poor
  • Turned around

In this four-part blog, we will explore how Twin Cities ACPs (and ACP50s) fit within these four categories, recent trends and why efforts to ameliorate circumstances are so critical, and the policy implications for the future. 

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