Buffalo’s Poverty Rate tops 30 percent, Making it America's Third-Poorest City

January 2, 2014 Updated Jan 2, 2014 at 11:43 AM EDT

By G. Scott Thomas, Projects Editor- Business First

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Buffalo’s Poverty Rate tops 30 percent, Making it America's Third-Poorest City

January 2, 2014 Updated Jan 2, 2014 at 11:43 AM EDT

Only three major cities in the United States are saddled with poverty rates above 30 percent – and Buffalo is one of them.

New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that 30.1 percent of the City of Buffalo’s residents are living below the federal poverty level.

The only major cities with higher poverty rates are Cleveland at 34.2 percent and Detroit at 38.1 percent.

Business First used raw data from the Census Bureau’s five-year American Community Survey to calculate poverty rates for the country’s 74 major cities, defined as those cities with populations in excess of 250,000.

Survey results were released by the bureau last month. The dollar value of the federal poverty level is determined by a sliding scale, which depends on the size of a given family.

The City of Buffalo’s poverty rate of 30.1 percent is more than twice the corresponding national rate of 14.9 percent, according to the American Community Survey.

Virginia Beach and Plano, Texas, are tied for the lowest poverty rates among major cities at 7.4 percent. Anchorage is the runner-up at 7.7 percent.

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