I'm no expert in statistics but the picture this map paints is misleading IMO.
The lifecycle seems to be new city starts building out, put a university in the new, good neighborhoods, wait 100 years and those neighborhoods are now the inner city with spectacular crime and poverty.
The same low rents and low quality housing that attract students would logically tend to attract poor people. The same dumpy loft that seems perfect for a physics student would also seem financially perfect for a poor person.
Note that I'm talking about traditional student housing, not the ultra expensive school loan inspired facilities.
Even if students are spending $50k+ per year on school, very little of it makes its way out into the neighboring economy.
If you're a "poor" student who isn't working, but getting money from your parents or via student loan, you're not the same as a poor working person.
It's not skewed, those students really live there, so that's what it is.
However, I don't want to put this map down simply because it tries to simplify something very complicated. I do think there are a few very valuable messages here. Particularly for folks who live in a bit of a bubble, and may not realize how close they live to people living in poverty.
I think it's important to make a distinction between "poor" and "poverty" though. Struggling to get by infers that they're getting by and could be called "poor".
Poverty, I think, implies they're not getting by in the local socio-economic area they're in. It's easy to move between categories. Poverty vs. poor could be as much as $20 to make rent this month.
Having grown up pretty poor, and having relatives shift in and out of poverty (American style), there's a qualitative difference I think.
Or are you on a slow downward spiral or perpetual small shortfalls in nearly every basic expense area? To the point that you can't even cover a bare subsistence living?
I think that's probably how I'd notionally describe the difference between poor and poverty.
1. Guy just got fired from his job because he told his boss to stop altering time sheets, removing hours worked thus lower wages. When he went to the Dept of Labor they "couldn't help him" because he hadn't come to them first before getting fired.
So he got a lawyer but that just burned through his cash reserve; when the cash ran out the lawyer walked out. He's now living out of his car even though he got another job. He's probably blacklisted by a lot of the jobs he's used to. When his current job pays him in 2 weeks, he can make a deposit on a place and maybe start renting again. In the meantime he struggles to find a place to shower each day.
2. Girl finally emancipated herself from a bad adoptive parent situation. She's 16 and emotionally mature enough to live on her own. She's currently at a women's shelter but they are working with her to secure an apartment. Apartment managers refuse to consider her because "she doesn't have a parent's signature." She has a job at a pizza place but keeps getting turned down for better paying jobs because she's still in high school. How is she going to make rent for the next 2 years? Making pizzas?
3. Guy splitting rent with some friends who get into drugs and stop paying him. Since the apartment is technically in his name, he gets thrown in county jail for a few days when the cops bust the drug thing. He is clean so they let him go but the apartment insists he move out, like, yesterday. So technically he's homeless even though he has a stable job. When he goes to get another apartment they all want to know where he has stayed for the last 2 years (standard apartment procedure) and when they talk to the apartments where he was, they always get enough of an earful from the previous manager that they decide he's not worth it. Financially he's making it through all this but imagine if he were just barely making it... could be enough to push him out onto the street.
Sleeping in your car is particularly bad because a lot of local law enforcement will ticket you or throw you in jail for a night. They really don't want you sleeping in your car around here. The risk is that they might impound your car after enough tickets. Now you're really "not getting by."
As in, was this normalized, both for population density, and cost of living: read look at alaska..
Which is exactly the same with any population heat map when you go down to the census tract level in large cities.
In other words, it is completely applicable.
Being that the intention of this map is to bring attention to census tracts with higher percentages of poverty (instead of bringing attention to census tracts with a lower percentage of poverty), a cooler color (associative with 'lower') with saturation increases (associative with 'pay attention to this') seems to be the way to go.
We need another map that's based on consumption-poverty, not income-poverty – and controlled for local prices. Unfortunately that data is a lot harder to collect.
Now click the other map that shows absolute numbers of people living below the poverty line and you will find the majority of people in poverty live in either so-called blue states or Democrat strongholds within "red" states.
Now crawl back to Reddit with your sanctimonious and paternalistic drivel.
Didn't know the GOP was astroturfing HN now, too.
1. But of course you wouldn't.