With the giving season reminding us to be selfless and tens of millions of our fellow Americans suffering from poverty, homelessness and hunger, the personal-finance website WalletHub followed up on its report on the Most Charitable States with an in-depth look at 2016’s Neediest Cities.
Hoping to inspire goodwill toward the less fortunate, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 most populated U.S. cities across 21 key metrics to determine where Americans are most economically disadvantaged. The data set ranges from “child poverty rate” to “food-insecurity rate” to “uninsured rate.”
Hunger, poverty and homelessness pervade every nation — even the richest and most powerful. According to Feeding America, food insecurity plagues every U.S. county, with more than 48 million individuals lacking access to adequate food.
About 43.1 million, or 13.5 percent of the population, live in poverty. Among the households in that category, 10.4 million are considered “extremely low-income,” meaning they earn 30 percent of the area median income or less. But a shortage of 7.2 million affordable homes forces 75 percent of this group to choose between putting a roof over their heads or covering other basic necessities, including utilities, food and health care.
In the absence of more affordable housing or accommodations provided by relatives or friends, many must take to the streets or shelters. A report published by the National Alliance to End Homelessness shows that nearly 565,000 people — many of them children — had been homeless at one point in January 2015.
On the heels of our report on the most charitable states, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 most populated U.S. cities based on 21 key indicators of economic disadvantage, such as child poverty, food insecurity and uninsured rates. Continue reading below for our findings, expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.