Our Challenge Focus: Reducing Poverty in Washington, DC
Poverty in Washington, D.C. is an omnipresent and overwhelming problem. Today, nearly 1 in 5 residents in Washington, DC are at or below the poverty line. In 2010, the Coalition on Human Needs found that the poverty rate in Washington, D.C. is the highest of any state.
And poverty in the nation’s capital is ever increasing. The DC Fiscal Policy Institute reports that from 2007 to 2009 the number of people living in poverty in the District is estimated to have risen 19 percent. Today, the poverty rate is 19.2 %, up 0.8 % from 2009. Homelessness among families increased by 46% between 2008 and 2011. DC’s income gap is also widening. Income disparity in Washington, DC is high in comparison to the rest of the United States. While the median income is greater than that of the rest of the country, the percent of those below the poverty line is also greater, by around 3%.
The most worrying statistics concern children. The child poverty rate is currently at 30.4%, an increase of 7.7% since 2007, according to Poverty and Policy. According to the Washington Post, nearly one in three DC children live in poverty, which is about double that of the national average. These numbers are higher than most Unites States metropolitan areas. According to the Children Defense Fund, child poverty correlates to racial disparity; in Washington, D.C., 31.3% of African American children are poor as opposed to 2.3% of white