The Washington, D.C., metro area saw a boom in development over the last decade, but that prosperity never made it across the river to the overwhelmingly black communities, and a large number of blacks are still living in poverty.
A new study released by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI), a liberal-leaning non-profit group, shows that 26 percent of black people in the city lived below the poverty line in 2014. Only 7 percent of non-Hispanic whites lived at that level.
When you look at the neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River, an area that is made up of more than 90 percent black people, the poverty rate jumps to 33 percent.
“This year’s picture of the geographic distribution of poverty is largely consistent with last year’s and with pre-recession times,” the study reads.
Since 2007, black people are the only ethnic group in the city to experience an increase in poverty, up 3 percent.
Between 2007 and 2014, the median income for black families stayed stagnant at around $41,000. Meanwhile, the median income for every household in D.C. rose by almost $10,000 to more than $71,000.
It appears, from the data, that education plays a large part in the gap between black and other groups in wealth distribution. Nearly one in seven black people in the city do not have a high school diploma, compared with one in every 30 whites.
The FPI suggests increasing money spent on affordable housing and expanding job training programs as ways to help bring down the city’s poverty rate.
In her first year in office, Mayor Muriel Bowser did just that, with nearly $150 million in additional spending on homeless initiatives, and a last-minute bill to provide another jobs program for adults with few marketable skills.
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15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.
16 As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee.
17 But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.
18 But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.