Where is poverty concentrated in Hillsborough County?

March 2018 – This month, Planning Commission staff completed an analysis on poverty in Hillsborough County. The report identifies those neighborhoods where more than 40% of the residents live in poverty and how those neighborhoods have changed over time. Analysis of approximately 40 years of Census Data, from the 1970 decennial census to the 2011-2016 American Community Survey, reveals where concentrations of poverty in Hillsborough County exist.
According to several authors, national trends reflect a decentralization of concentrations in poverty away from downtowns or urban cores and outwards to less urbanized areas. To replicate the findings of other authors, staff used Census Tracts as a proxy for neighborhoods. Based on the data available, the national trends other researchers have identified are similar in Hillsborough County.
There was a period of time, approximately from the 1970s to 1990, as measured by those decennial Censuses, where poverty was concentrated in the urban core (downtown Tampa). Beginning with the 2000 Census, the concentration of poverty began to disperse away towards the University of South Florida area. The 2000 Census reflected the increase in productivity and growth in the late 1990s with the fewest neighborhoods in poverty. However, the Great Recession reversed these improvements, increasing the numbers of those in poverty, and finding them located away from urban cores.
Our findings are not an exact match to other researchers, since the concentrations of poverty largely shifted north towards the area adjacent to the University of South Florida (one of the four primary economic hubs in the county). So, the concentrations of poverty moved from one urbanized area to another urbanized area.

View the full report.

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