Issues that Low Income Areas Face: Past Reflections

By Daniel D’Amico, Trending Writer

Within the U.S., low income areas face obstacles that greatly lower the standard of living. Some of these issues have existed for a while, but not to the same extent as they do now. In some cases, they are more rampant and far reaching, in others less so.

Education is one area as more and more children are attending public schools. According to the US News, the percentage of kids with low income backgrounds in public schools has increased from less than 32% in 1989 to about 49% in 2012.

Also, many students end up not continuing to college. An article in Inside Higher Ed states that from 2008 to 2013, the percentage of low income students enrolling in college has dropped from 55% to 45%. Many that may have the grades to get into a good college simply cannot attend for financial reasons among others.

The issue of education has not shown much improvement recently. However, efforts are being made to remedy the problem. In fact, as stated in the New York Times, a handful of institutions led by Bloomberg Philanthropies aim to increase the number of qualified low income students attending better colleges. This effort is much needed, because the low income students usually suffer unfairly from lack of opportunity to attend college.

Housing is another problem in which people struggle with. It has gotten worse as affordable housing is harder and harder to find. However, efforts are being made to amend this. For instance, the Newton Daily News discusses a recent grant for Newton, Iowa that will allow for the revitalization of various homes. This includes homes along First Avenue West from West Fourth Street to West 11th Street.

Unfortunately, health issues have also arisen in these poorer areas. The poorer health is often associated with poverty and recently, doctors have become less and less accessible to these people. The number of hospitals is decreasing in many areas. According to the Post-Gazette, the amount of hospitals in 52 major cities have gone from 781 in 1970 to 426 in 2010. Due to lack of treatment, this drastic change puts many at a greater risk and shows how the health of many is worsening.

These issues are ones that are still dealt with today and have gotten worse for the most part. Education, housing, and health were not problems to the same extent as they are today. Although there are increasing efforts to fix these various obstacles, it is unclear how they exactly will affect these areas.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 9th print edition.

Contact Daniel at


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