Growing up through the cracks

Jared's narrowed world

Violence in Hawkins Village drove Jared Todd, 16, to a largely indoor existence in which his anxious energy bursts forth in art and gaming.

By Stacy Innerst

January 14, 2019

Children surrounded by poverty face narrowed futures and, often, shortened lives. In southwestern Pennsylvania's fragmented patchwork of cities, boroughs and townships, they're also likely to live in places without the resources to provide safety, recreation and a healthy environment.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, today and throughout this year, will explore the data tying childhood deprivation to a host of other problems, and delve into a dozen communities in which half of the kids live in poverty. Reporters and photographers will visit with families doing their best in difficult surroundings, explore the causes and effects, and search for solutions.

The Economic Hardship Reporting Project supported Stacy Innerst's illustration.

Top vs Bottom

 

If your family lives in White Oak or Churchill, you can pretty much guarantee that the neighbor kids aren't living in poverty, according to estimates the Census Bureau released in late 2017. In seven Allegheny County municipalities, though, you can bet they are. See how your community compares to North Braddock, where around three in five children live in poverty. Or for a close-up of one community in which half of the kids are in poverty, read Rankin: Fighting 'the depressed mindset.'

Select your municipality to compare child poverty rates:

In % of children live in poverty.

That rate is {{percentCalc.finalValue | number : 1.0}} percentage points lower than North Braddock's rate.

Mapping inequality

 

Communities with high child poverty tend to have lower home ownership rates and higher turnover than their more affluent neighbors. In Wilmerding, for example, just three in 10 residents own their homes, and three in 10 lived somewhere else the year before, according to the Census Bureau. That means many kids are subjected to a sense of neighborhood instability at best, and personal dislocation at worst.

Go in-depth with our full data in Growing up Through the Cracks.

Stories in this series

 

Rankin: Fighting 'the depressed mindset'

In a town kept down by county decisions and indecision, even the most determined families find it hard to rise above stagnation, deprivation, and violence.

Growing up Through the Cracks

When half the kids are in poverty, our fractured towns can offer no future.

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