Economically Vulnerable Neighborhoods to COVID-19

Not The Great Equalizer: Which Neighborhoods Are Most Economically Vulnerable to the Coronavirus Crisis?

Initiative for A Competitive Inner City

First published April 2020

This report and its accompanying interactive map show the vulnerability of every U.S. neighborhood to the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Using data from the American Community Survey, they show that:

  • High-Poverty Communities Are the Most Economically Vulnerable. About 78 percent of high-poverty neighborhoods but only 15 percent of low-poverty neighborhoods are highly vulnerable to the economic effects of the crisis.
  • Economic Vulnerability Is Concentrated in Communities of Color. Of the tenth of neighborhoods that are most vulnerable to the crisis’ economic fallout, 87 percent are communities of color.
  • Even Among High-Poverty Communities, Communities of Color Are the Most Vulnerable. Ninety percent of high-poverty neighborhoods whose residents are primarily people of color are highly vulnerable, compared to only 56 percent of high-poverty tracts that are at least 50 percent white.
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