Community Dividend

Fed releases report on concentrated poverty

Published January 1, 2009  | January 2009 issue

The Community Affairs offices of the Federal Reserve System have released a report that explores how pockets of concentrated poverty develop and why they persist. The Enduring Challenge of Concentrated Poverty: Case Studies from Communities Across the U.S. is based on research conducted in 16 high-poverty communities located in various regions of the country. Working in collaboration with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program, Community Affairs staff members from the 12 Federal Reserve Banks conducted on-site interviews and data gathering in the 16 study communities throughout 2006. One of the profiled communities, the Blackfeet Reservation, Montana, is located in the Ninth Federal Reserve District.

For each of the 16 communities, the report contains a detailed case study describing the history, causes, and effects of persistent, concentrated poverty. The report also includes a discussion of the factors that the selected high-poverty communities have in common, such as physical or geographic isolation and profound demographic changes.

To download the report or view an interactive map of the U.S. featuring the 16 study communities, visit