Ranking America’s “neediest” cities, from poverty to adequate sanitation

(The Hill) – Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Los Angeles are all among the top 10 “neediest” cities in the country, according to an analysis by personal finance website WalletHub.

The report assessed 182 cities across 28 economic indicators, including child poverty, food insecurity and inadequate kitchens.

Detroit was ranked as the neediest metropolitan area. According to a report in The Detroit News, one in five Detroit tenants was at risk of eviction this year.

Brownsville, Texas took second place. According to a recent report in 24/7 Wall Street, a quarter of the city’s population lives in poverty, twice the national average.

Cleveland takes third place. According to a report by WEWS-TV, Cleveland’s poverty rate is 29 percent, making it the second poorest city in the country after Detroit.

Fourth through sixth were Gulfport, Mississippi; Fresno, California; and Laredo, Texas.

Philadelphia placed seventh. The city of brotherly love registered 500 murders in 2022, according to WTXF-TV.

New Orleans took eighth place. The city may have the highest homicide rate in the country, with more than 250 murders this year, according to a report by nola.com.

Los Angeles, despite its wealth, ranked ninth on the list of cities in need. According to a recent report in The Nation, more than 40,000 Angelenos live on the streets.

The country’s least needy city, according to WalletHub calculus, is the DC suburb of Columbia, Maryland, a small housing development in Howard County.

Other cities near the bottom of the list include Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota; Overland Park, the suburb of Kansas City; Pearl City, part of Greater Honolulu; South Burlington, Vermont, home of Ben & Jerry’s; and Irvine, California, beyond LA’s Orange Curtain

WalletHub analysis singled out cities with high rates on specific demand measurements. Rochester, New York had the highest rate of child poverty, followed by Detroit and Cleveland. Huntington, West Virginia, had the highest adult poverty rate, again followed by Detroit and Cleveland.

Five cities shared the top spot for homelessness: Fresno and San Francisco in California, New York, DC and Honolulu. Homeless encampments have sprung up around the nation’s capital during the years of the pandemic. San Francisco leaders have faced legal challenges to clean up their homeless.

Gulfport, Mississippi, topped the list for food insecurity. More than a quarter of Gulfport residents live in poverty.

San Francisco had the highest rate of homes with inadequate plumbing.

Lewiston, Maine topped the list of cities with inadequate kitchens, presumably due more to the level of available water and electricity than countertops and cabinetry.

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