Condition of Education 2010
Special Section on High-Poverty Schools


The 2010 edition of the annual publication Condition of Education produced by the National Center for Education Statistics contained a special section devoted to high-poverty schools.  This section presents a descriptive profile of these schools and their students to compare them to low-poverty schools and their students.

High-poverty schools are those where 76%-100% of students are eligible for free or reuced price lunch through the National School Lunch Program.  This places them at or below 180% of the poverty guidelines.

Frequency and Timespan: one-time report with data for the 2007-08 school year

Geographic Level of Coverage: National

Publication is available online

National Center for Education Statistics.Condition of Education 2010. Special Section on High-Poverty Schools (PDF)  Accesssed 2/23/2012

What do we know about the geographic concentration of poverty?
Estimates from the American Community Survey


In 2010, 15% of people lived in poverty.  Poverty is not evenly distributed across neighborhoods and every state has neighborhoods with higher than average poverty rates. 

Areas with Concentrated Poverty
ACS and Other Sources


Areas of Concentrated Poverty (ACS)

These Census Bureau report analyzes demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of census tracts by categorizing the tracts based on their poverty levels. Tracts with poverty rates of 20% or more are considered “poverty areas”.  Recent reports draw data from the America Community Survey and older data come the the Census long form.

Article Sacramento Bee

Neglect, Health Concerns Envelope Poor County Areas in California

Some may be surprised to know that even in California, “poor, dense communities on unincorporated land – which uniformly lack some combination of sewer systems, clean drinking water, sidewalks, streetlights and storm drains – have been the victim of years of neglect. Statewide, PolicyLink, an Oakland-based public policy research and advocacy institute, estimates that 1.8 million low-income and often Spanish-speaking Californians live in such communities, many without the infrastructure that would curb gastrointestinal illnesses, respiratory disease symptoms, and other public health and safety risks. In Parklawn and similar unincorporated communities, language barriers, legal status and a lack of political know-how have made it difficult for residents to navigate the governmental process.”