Report: Race, marital status linked to poverty in Norfolk

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Norfolk, Va. – This week, the City of Norfolk released a report aimed at identifying factors causing poverty and outlining solutions to decrease this trend.

Norfolk’s poverty rate is double that of the entire state and the city has the second highest poverty rate in the region. Williamsburg has the highest with 18.4%.

In this report, they’ve listed several factors that contribute to the city’s high rate of poverty and they include marital status and race.

Although the median income has increased from $31, 815 in 2000 to $43,108, too few people in the city share this growth.

The report makes a clear link between race and poverty. African Americans make up 48% of the city’s population and the rate of poverty among blacks is more than twice that of their white counterparts.

About 24.1% of the black population in the city is living in poverty which means about 23,238 people.

The report points to six specific neighborhoods in the city where concentrated poverty exists. These areas include Tidewater Gardens, Calvert Square, Diggs Town, Grandy Village, Oakleaf Forest and Young Terrace. In these neighborhoods, over 90 of the residents are African American.

This report also points out that those who are living in poverty are disproportionately young. Nearly one in four of Norfolk’s children experienced poverty in the last year.

They’ve also identified martial status as a factor. Similar to national trends, female-headed households have a 30.9% poverty rate compared to 16.4% of households where the male is the head and just 6.3% for married couples.

Last year, 34 citizens examined poverty in the city and came up with ways to decrease these numbers.

The report focuses on four areas to fix Norfolk’s poverty problem. They recommend supporting early childhood development and parents, improving the education and career pathways of young people, creating more opportunities for adults to thrive in the workforce and revitalizing neighborhoods.

To see the full report, click here.




  • The Don

    There is poverty because they rely on section 8 housing and most families only have 1 parent, that being the mother with at least 2 children. The neighborhoods listed in this article are public housing structures.

  • mike

    That report is bs , if those lazy people would get off their butts and take a job and stop having babies to get a check from the government the numbers would be drastically different. Stop blaming everything on other than what it is. Pure laziness

  • SMH

    You can lead a horse to water, but cannot force it to drink. As long as there is free handouts these sections of the city will have a high poverty rate.

  • Theresa Conley

    It seems from the report that all the City of Norfolk wants to do is throw more money at the problem. How will that satisfy the taxpayers of Norfolk? More redistribution of wealthy. Also, why are there not more high paying jobs in Norfolk? Maybe its the high tax base and the miss use of city money to build hotels and convention centers.

  • DieselEMD

    If you look at the make up of the city council, including the Mayor and Vice Mayor, they have nobody to blame but themselves. I have met and talked with some of the council in unofficial capacity, and they are the most self-rightious, conceited and greedy people I have had the displeasure to meet.

  • steve

    LBJ’s “Great Society” has destroyed the family structure for too many families. And illegal aliens have taken over 8.5 million of our jobs and significantly depress wages. Unions, excessive regulation, and excessive corporate taxes compared to the rest of the world encourage outsourcing, not job growth. Yet the impoverished tend to vote for politicians who support all of the above. What’s wrong with this picture?

  • Ms. KLWF

    These kids go to the same public schools all other races go to so I can’t help but wonder why liberals always say they don’t have the same opportunities as other races and they need to improve education for these young people. They live around tons of stores and fast food places, but instead of getting something called a job when they turn 15 or 16 they prefer to rob people instead. I worked as a teen and so did all 3 of my kids. Are wel-fare mom’s so afraid of losing their free food, housings, electrical, phone, medical that they would rather have a kid that doesn’t work so it doesn’t up their income and keep them from getting all their freebies, so they would rather have a kid that steals instead? If you could stop those ho’s from getting knocked up so they can earn their freebies maybe then you could find a way out of poverty for these people, but until then don’t expect anything you do to amount to squat. If the money train stops all these illegitimate kids they are popping out will end. There won’t be the need for them to get knocked up when they are still in high school. Then they will do like other kids and finish high school, work and put themselves through school. But liberals never see things that way so things never get fixed. Before all these systems were put in place parents were responsible for taking care of a girl that got knocked up. Most girls didn’t want to shame their families so very few ended up in trouble.

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