The Economic Innovation Group, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, recently released a report and interactive tool showing the levels of economic distress in U.S. neighborhoods.
The study found that 52.3 million Americans reside in distressed areas, while the majority of the country (84.8 million) live in prosperous communities. However, over half of Americans living in distressed communities live in the South. In Louisiana, for example, 43 percent of the state’s population lives in distressed conditions.
Most of the economic growth over the last five years has occurred in the more prosperous parts of the country, with depressed communities seeing much less growth.
The report, compiled from U.S. Census Bureau data, looks at the percentage of adults without high school diplomas, poverty rate, percentage of prime-age adults not working, housing vacancy rate, median income ratio, percentage change in employment, and percentage change in establishment. Distressed communities are areas where each of those categories are above the U.S. average.