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Poverty Pours Into Numerous Colorado Neighborhoods

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The number of Colorado neighborhoods with at least 20 percent of people living in poverty doubled in the past decade, rising to about one in five. That’s according to data from the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey, taken between 2005 and 2009 and analyzed by the Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network for The Denver Post. “Kids living in poverty now will likely suffer the negative effects of poverty long after the economy recovers,” says Lisa Piscopo, vice president of research for the Colorado Children’s Campaign, which says the number of people receiving food stamps is up by 26 percent.

One of the biggest changes is in central Aurora, northwest of South Peoria Street and East Alameda Avenue, where the number of people considered poor rose from six percent in 2000 to an average of 34 percent between 2005 and 2009. The largest increase in the state, however, is carried by one north Greeley neighborhood, reports the Tribune, which also points to the “steeper” increases in child poverty across the state.

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Indeed, the data shows trouble around the United States and Colorado. In El Paso County, for instance, since 2000 an estimated 77 percent of neighborhoods saw an increase in the number of people living below the federal poverty line: $22,050 for a family of four (via the Colorado Springs Gazette). Boulder’s University Hill ranks as the fourth poorest neighborhood in the state: Almost 64 percent of residents there are considered poor. But, of course, they’re students, skewing the data for that city, points out the Daily Camera.

Beyond poverty, the Census survey also provides estimates on the country’s longest commutes. Like residents of the Bronx in New York, people in Colorado’s Elbert and Park counties have average drive times of more than 40 minutes, notes Bloomberg News. But not all local commuting numbers are so bad. DenverUrbanism.com looks at various factors and types of commutes, concluding, “Overall, it is clear that Denver performs relatively well compared to the national average.”

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