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Cleveland Metro Ranks in Top 10 in U.S. for Concentrated Poverty: Brookings

By Olivera Perkins, The Plain Dealer

The Cleveland metro area is in the Top 10 nationally for the percentage of residents living in concentrated poverty, according to an analysis released today by the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

The Cleveland-Elyria metro -- which includes Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Medina counties -- ranks ninth among the 100 largest metro areas in the nation. Toledo, the only other Ohio metro in the Top 10, ranks third.

Concentrated poverty differs from the overall poverty rate. It looks at whether poor people live in communities where there are high concentrations of people who are also poor. People in poverty have a better chance at upward mobility if they live in economically diverse neighborhoods because they potentially have access to more opportunities, said Natalie Holmes, a research analyst in Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program, who co-authored the report.

"There has been a ton of research for a long time suggesting the negative effects of being poor," she said. "Over and above just being poor, being poor in a poor neighborhood adds additional complexities.

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