Sunday, December 19, 2010

Comparing the Richest and Poorest Census Tracts

I decided to compare my census tract with the poorest and the richest (according to median household income) census tracts in Ward 6. Embarrassingly, I realized that my own census tract is the richest in Ward 6. How could I not have known? Tract 67 is just below Lincoln Park to Pennsylvania Avenue; Tract 71 is east of 11th below Pennsylvania Avenue. Our census tracts are about just a couple of blocks away from each other, but on opposite sides of Pennsylvania Avenue. What are the differences according to the census data?

Poorest by income: Tract 71
Median Household Income: $29,063 (decreased by 10% since 2000)
Percentage of households making under $30,000: 53%
Percentage of households making over $100,000: 21%
Percentage of homeowners: 34%
Percentage of renters: 65%

Richest by income: Tract 67
Median Household Income: $135,573 (increased by 37% since 2000)
Percentage of households making under $30,000: 4%
Percentage of households making over $100,000: 66%
Percentage of homeowners: 65%
Percentage of renters: 34%

Very different experiences separated by a matter of a couple blocks. It is especially notable that the percentage of homeowners and renters are exactly the opposite of each other. Now, how can we use sociology to understand what these substantial differences mean for people in Ward 6? That is the subject of this blog.

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