Claudia Coulton on Cleveland’s Sharp Drop in Poverty

“The good news is that the poverty rate both in Cleveland and in our region declined. … Poverty has finally achieved a significant decrease,” said Dr. Claudia Coulton, co-director of the Poverty Center, to in “Cleveland poverty numbers drop sharply” on September 21, 2016. However, this is only a start as many thousands of people are still in poverty and still face extreme difficulties.

According to the article, recently released estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show the poverty rate for Cleveland to be 34.7% in 2015, sharply down from 39.2% the previous year. While this is a great improvement, Cleveland is still one of the more impoverished areas in Ohio and in the country.

“People can’t imagine what it would be like to live on that,” Coulton said, discussing families living below the poverty line. “The hardest thing poor families face is putting a roof over their head.” She added that public programs only help a fraction of the population in need, serving only about 20% of those who would qualify. And even those with assistance are limited by how long they receive aid or how far it can go each month.

While the overall poverty situation is getting better, there is still a lot of improvement required. Read the full article at and read our other posts on urban poverty.

Dr. Coulton’s observations were also discussed by NBC News in their feature The Heartland: Life and Loss in Steel City and by The Daily of Case Western Reserve University.