Poverty rate continues to drop in Detroit

The Detroit skyline is seen from the St. Clair Centre for the Arts on July 10, 2019. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

For the third straight year, officials in the City of Detroit say the poverty level has dropped.

A release from the city said sustained poverty reduction strategies, combined with efforts to boost employment have resulted in a 20 per cent increase in household income since 2015.

Four years ago, an estimated 39.8 per cent of Detroiters lived in poverty. That is down to 33.4 per cent last year. In terms of population, it means 220,000 residents were living in poverty compared to 265,000 in 2015.

The numbers are from the U.S. Census Bureau.

At the same time, the median household income across Michigan grew 11 per cent. In Detroit, the rate grew from $25,980 in 2015 to $31,283 in 2018.

“In January 2015, the Mayor retooled the city’s employment strategies to focus on in-demand job sectors,” said Executive Director of Workforce Development, Nicole Sherard-Freeman. “Since then, we’ve seen sustained employment growth.”

Earlier this month, the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics said more Detroiters were employed in July than in any month over the past decade. For the first time since 2009, 230,000 residents were working.

“Three straight years of progress is a good start,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “But if we can continue our success in bringing new jobs to Detroit and to train Detroiters to fill those jobs, our future is bright.”

By comparison, Windsor’s median income in 2018 was CAD $45,989 in 2018, or $34,710 U.S, according to PayScale.com. Statistics Canada calculated the poverty rate last year in Windsor West as 32.1 per cent, and 22.7 per cent in Windsor-Tecumseh.