Steve DiGioia

Philadelphia County’s Top 5 Poorest Neighborhoods Revealed

philadelphia-countys-top-5-poorest-neighborhoods-revealed

Philadelphia County, also known as the City of Philadelphia, boasts the highest population in Pennsylvania and ranks sixth nationally, with approximately 1.6 million residents according to the 2020 census. 

Despite its size, the county exhibits significant economic inequality.

In 2020, Philadelphia County’s median family income was $46,116, notably lower than both the state average of $63,463 and the national average of $67,521. 

Moreover, the county’s poverty rate stood at 23.3% in 2021, significantly surpassing the state rate of 12.4% and the national rate of 12.8%.

Economic challenges vary across different neighborhoods within Philadelphia County, with many facing issues such as low income, high poverty, unemployment, limited educational opportunities, and inadequate access to social and medical services.

Drawing from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) spanning 2017–2021, this article examines five of Philadelphia County’s most impoverished areas, focusing on key poverty indicators.

1. Mantua

Located in west-central Philadelphia County near University City and Powelton Village, Mantua is a diverse urban area with approximately 15,000 residents encompassing various racial and ethnic backgrounds. 

Despite its vibrant community, Mantua faces significant economic challenges, as indicated by ACS data:

  • 33% of households earn less than $27,083, representing a 41.3% decrease from the county median and a 59.9% decrease from the national median.
  • With a poverty rate of 38%, Mantua’s poverty level is nearly three times the national average and nearly twice the county rate.
  • Unemployment stands at 11%, almost double the rates in both the city and the nation.
  • Approximately 72% of residents have attained educational achievements, with about three-quarters completing high school or college.

2. Tioga-Nicetown

Tioga-Nicetown, situated in northwest Philadelphia County near Germantown and Hunting Park, is predominantly inhabited by Black or African American residents. This urban area, with an approximate population of 18,000, ranks among the poorest locales, evident from ACS data:

  • Median family income stands at $23,750, marking a 48.5% shortfall from the county median and 64.8% below the national median.
  • 44% of residents live below the poverty line, surpassing the national average by over threefold and nearly doubling the county rate.
  • Unemployment is at 17%, exceeding both county and national levels by more than twofold.
  • Educational attainment is relatively low at 69%, indicating that only about two-thirds of residents have completed high school or college.

3. Haddington

philadelphia-countys-top-5-poorest-neighborhoods-revealed
PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 9: Homeless people are seen on streets of the Kensington neighborhood as homelessness and drug addiction hit Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, United States on November 9, 2021.

Haddington, an urban area in west-central Philadelphia County near Cobbs Creek and Overbrook, is home to approximately 21,000 residents, predominantly Black or African American. According to ACS data, it ranks among the economically disadvantaged areas, with:

  • A median family income of $26,250, 43% below the county median and 61.1% below the national median.
  • 36% of the population living in poverty, surpassing the county rate by 1.5 times and nearly three times the national average.
  • Unemployment at 12%, nearly double the county and national rates.
  • Educational attainment of 70%, indicating about two-thirds of residents completing high school or college.

4. Fairhill

Fairhill, located in north-central Philadelphia County near Kensington and Harrowgate, is an urban neighborhood characterized by its predominantly Hispanic population, reflecting the area’s cultural and linguistic diversity. With approximately 27,000 residents, Fairhill ranks among the poorest areas based on ACS data:

  • Median family income of $24,167, 47.6% below the county median and 64.2% below the national median.
  • Poverty rate of 49%, more than double the county rate and nearly four times the national average.
  • Unemployment rate of 16%, more than double the rates at both the county and national levels.
  • Educational attainment rate of 48%, indicating less than half of the population completing high school or college.

5.Strawberry Mansion

Strawberry Mansion, located in the north-central part of Philadelphia County near Fairmount Park and Brewerytown, is an urban area primarily inhabited by approximately 15,000 Black or African American residents. ACS data highlights it as one of the most economically distressed areas:

  • Median family income of $25,417, 44.9% below the county median and 62.4% below the national median.
  • Poverty rate of 46%, more than three times the national rate and nearly double the county rate.
  • Unemployment rate of 15%, more than double the rates at both the county and national levels.
  • Educational attainment rate of 66%, indicating about two-thirds of the population completing high school or college

 

Read also: The Poorest Town in Iowa Unveiled

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