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Report: 1 In 5 Arizona Children Lives In Poor Neighborhoods

By Mariana Dale
Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 3:55pm
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2019 - 3:25pm
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Children's Action Alliance
Siman Qaasim, president and CEO Children's Action Alliance

A new review of census data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows while the number of Arizona’s poor neighborhoods has dropped a few percentage points, from 22% to 20%, the state still has some of the highest rates in the country. 

One in 5 children lives in concentrated poverty here, according to the report. Arizona ties with Louisiana for the fifth-highest rate in the country. 

“That in our minds is a ... contributor to perpetuating the cycle of poverty,” said Siman Qaasim, president and CEO of advocacy group Children's Action Alliance. “We know it’s not good because when you live in a poor neighborhood you have less access to health foods, less access to good doctors and dentists and pre-natal care” 

Concentrated poverty means at least 30% of the population lives below the federal poverty level. 

In Arizona and nationally, Latino (30%), African American (24%) and American Indian (61%) kids are more likely to live in these poor neighborhoods. 

The state also has the highest rate of children in rural communities living in concentrated poverty at 39%, compared to 11% nationally. 

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