NEWS: Newest Census Data Show African Americans in St. Pete Continue Poverty Reduction Streak 

The City of St. Petersburg received good news this week, when the U.S. Census Bureau released its newest data on poverty and other life quality metrics.

Figures released September 17, 2020 (which lag by one year) show St. Petersburg’s African American poverty rate down to 16.7% in 2019, the lowest level ever recorded.

In addition, the pace of poverty reduction by African Americans in St. Petersburg is outpacing results across the rest of Florida and the nation, according to an analysis by The 2020 Plan (a 7-year initiative to reduce poverty in South St. Petersburg, where 80% of the City of St. Petersburg’s black population resides).

Key findings from the 2020 Plan analysis:

  • From 2014 to 2019, the black-white poverty gap in St. Petersburg shrank by two-thirds. Though the city’s white poverty rate fell by 3 percentage points to 9%, its black poverty rate fell 18 points over the same time.
  • African Americans in St. Petersburg are outpacing their white and Latino neighbors in poverty reduction; they are also outpacing their black peers in cities across Florida (St. Pete shed 18 points from its black poverty rate from 2014 to 2019, which is more than two times the pace of black poverty reduction in cities such as Tampa, Lakeland and Jacksonville).
  • White residents now comprise the majority of St. Petersburg’s poverty population. In 2014, African Americans were a plurality though not a majority of the poor (45%), while whites were 40% of the city’s poverty population. In 2019, whites were 54% of St. Pete’s poor.

Click here to see the 2020 Plan QUICK BRIEF on the changing face of poverty in St. Petersburg.

About the 2020 Plan: The 2020 Plan is a 7-year collective impact initiative to reduce the poverty rate by 30% by the year 2020 in South St. Petersburg, a 25-square mile area that is home to nearly 80% of the City of St. Petersburg’s black population and which officials identified in 2013 as the largest concentration of poverty in Pinellas County. Read the BRIEF linked above for a partial list of organizations contributing to poverty reduction in St. Petersburg.

Also Read: 13 Facts about Black White Poverty in St. Petersburg – January 2016 by the 2020 Plan Taskforce.

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