Thursday, September 03, 2009

Imagining poverty in Dallas. . .

Working on a committee with Untied Way of Metropolitan Dallas, I picked up these facts of life in wealthy Dallas County:

11% of our households live on less than $10,000 annually

7% of our households live on between $10,001 and $14,999

16% live on annual income of 15,000 to $24,999

14% live on annual household income of $25,000 to $34,999

17% live on annual income of $35,000 to $49,999

15% live on between $50,000 to $74,999

7% live on between %75,000 to $99,999

6 % live on annual household income of between $100,000 and $149,999

3% live on annual income of $150,000 to $199,999

4% live on annual income of more than $200,000

Total residents of Dallas County, Texas as of July 2008: 2,412,827

Number of housing units in 2007: 938,053

Number of households 2000: 807,621

Consider the following definitions of livable wage earnings for Dallas, Plano and Irving, Texas without employer sponsored health insurance:

One adult/no children: $24,057

Two adults/ no children: $34,110

Single parent, one child: $38,644

Single parent, two children: $45,032

Single parent, three children: $59,671

Two parents, one child: $50,138

Two parents, two children: $54,259

Two parents, three children: $70,628

What are the most surprising findings that you notice in these numbers?


Nathan said...

First thing that jumps out at me is that a minimum of 34% of Dallas households are surviving on less than a living wage. This percentage is almost certainly higher, as I'm sure the average number of people in the lowest 34% of households is greater than 1.

August S. Francis said...

What we call "poverty" is something that many families have lived with in the inner-city for years. They didn't know they were poor because they only knew what the had and it worked for them. They were not worried about what someone else had. Poverty was when there was no joy in the home.

One famous person said they they knew how to abound and they knew how to be abased. Yet they were still more than victorious.

The greatest poverty that there is is the poverty of our young people who think they can't be any more and some of our adults who have told them they never will amount to more.

It we work on THAT poverty, the other can be dealt with!

Anonymous said...

August S. Francis: You've made a good point, but the scope of your analysis is not broad enough. Positive mental attitude doesn't overcome systemic realities for neighborhoods and communities abandoned to poverty, loss of jobs and disinvestment by public policy. Nor does it offset the negative impact of stiffling, generational poverty.