Map Monday: Twin Cities’ Concentrated Areas of Poverty

Here’s an important map from the Met Council, of “concentrated areas of poverty” and “racially concentrated areas of poverty.” You can see where these key spots are located throughout the metro, and why it might be important to focus transit/education/and other investments in these specific areas…


For example, see the recent (minor) changes made by the Transit Advisory Board to the funding formula, which calls for paying more attention to these areas.

Anyway, the key point here is that poverty is not evenly distributed throughout the Twin Cities. Just the opposite, in fact.

9 thoughts on “Map Monday: Twin Cities’ Concentrated Areas of Poverty

  1. Eric AnondsonEric Anondson

    Census tracts just seem like a poor way to measure concentrations of poverty in the suburbs. Those are some pretty big tracts compared to the core.

    1. brad

      Eric, is there different data you’d suggest? Generally, the Census tries to keep tracts in a certain population range, so the less densely populated the area, the larger the census tract.

      1. Eric AnondsonEric Anondson

        Generally, I suppose they try for that but in the Map Monday last week, if you explore the NYTimes interactive page you can see there are some census tracts (Otsego, Rogers, St. Michael, NE Brooklyn Park) with 12,000–14,000 residents while some in the core are in the ranges of 2,000–4,000. Which kind of gets back to a question I asked on that thread last week, when do these tracts get redrawn? Ever? Who decides?

        (I guess I’m also personally peeved about the borders of the Hopkins tracts where the Blake Road N area is included with Oak Ridge, Farmdale, and St. Alban’s, it really neutralizes demographic trends along Blake Road.)

        I don’t know what would be better, something I’d rather see would be more of a heat map based around point data rather than area… Not sure how the census would accomplish that with its data gathering though

        1. Matt Brillhart

          Could ACS data be drilled down to Census block group (one order smaller than Census tract) for those larger suburban tracts? It probably isn’t necessary for the smaller urban ones. If the data is available (and accurate) at that level, then they should definitely be using block groups instead of tracts.

  2. Walker Angellwalker

    It’d be interesting to see how this changes over time. I believe that Roseville and Maplewood have both seen significant increases in the number of people in or near poverty. Likewise, many parts of St Paul that were heavily populated by less wealthy seem to now be a bit wealthier folk and given predictions I’d expect this trend will continue.

    How viable an option is bicycling for folks in these neighborhoods?

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