St. Petersburg’s poverty population has grown since the turn of the century, and the reasons for that growth seem to divide along racial lines. Among white City residents, poverty growth appears to be recession-related and temporary in nature. Among African Americans, however, the City suffers the weight of generational poverty, exacerbated by two factors that are discussed below.
Growth in St. Petersburg
The recession had an impact, but it was not a chief culprit in the City’s black poverty population growth since 2000, nor did it cause the mushrooming of taxpayers’ poverty costs in South St. Petersburg (see next page).
Black poverty growth is caused by two factors that have not been addressed by the body politic or by the collaborative “systems-of-care.”
Black population growth: Even in years when the City’s black poverty rate was trending down (roughly 1990 to 2005), the poverty population grew, due to rapid growth in the City’s African American population that far outstrips the tiny downward ticks in the poverty rate. This graph shows the situation from 2000 to 2005.