Not the Great Equalizer: Which Neighborhoods Are Most Economically Vulnerable to the Coronavirus Crisis?

Not the Great Equalizer: Which Neighborhoods Are Most Economically Vulnerable to the Coronavirus Crisis?

A report and interactive map from the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City examines which of more than seventy thousand U.S. neighborhoods are most likely to suffer economic hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The study analyzed economic vulnerability based on census tract data tracking the percentage of households employed in industries most threatened, those without access to a car, those lacking Internet access, those paying more than 30 percent of their income in housing costs, and those without health insurance and found that high-poverty communities of color are at highest risk of adverse virus-related consequences. According to the report, Not the Great Equalizer: Which Neighborhoods Are Most Economically Vulnerable to the Coronavirus Crisis? (10 pages, PDF), 78 percent of high-poverty neighborhoods exhibit a high level of economic vulnerability, compared with only 15 percent of low-poverty neighborhoods. What's more, of the top 10 percent of the most vulnerable neighborhoods in the nation, 87 percent are communities where a majority of the residents are people of color, while 90 percent of high-poverty majority-non-white neighborhoods are highly vulnerable, compared with only 56 percent of high-poverty tracts that are at least 50 percent white. To address the situation, the report's authors call for direct targeted immediate economic assistance to vulnerable communities and policies that improve access to the Internet, mobility, affordable housing, and affordable health coverage for residents.