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Cato Corporation

Poor choices

Poor choices

The persistence of poverty in Baltimore is disturbing. It is even more so when one looks deeper into the official data. The 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) estimates that 25.6 percent of Baltimore's population "for whom poverty status is determined" (602,129 people) are in poverty, as measured by pre-tax income relative to the poverty threshold used by the U.S. Census Bureau. For example, if a two-person family's pre-tax money income is less than $14,218, it is considered poor; the corresponding figure for a family of four is $22,314. However, the 25.6 percent figure doesn't tell the whole story about Baltimore's poverty. If one looks at the ACS for...