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Poverty rate soars in hard-hit Inland Empire

The Inland Empire has seen a significant increase in poverty since the recession began, according to a new study released Thursday.

The Brookings report, based on Census data, found that the Inland Empire's poverty rate rose from 11.8% in 2007 to 15.4% in 2009.

The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario area saw a 3.4% increase in the poverty rate over that three-year span, according to the report.

Brookings said that was the third-highest increase for a suburban area, behind Lakeland, Fla., and Charleston, S.C.

The Inland Empire has been particularly hard-hit by the economic downturn, which was fueled by the bursting of the region's once red-hot real estate bubble. In Riverside County, the unemployment rate is now 14.8%, and a new report finds it will be several years before it goes back into single digits.

-- Shelby Grad

Comments () | Archives (5)

You could fool me - I see tons of cars on the surface streets around shopping areas, the freeways are jammed the market is always full of people, the 99 cent only store always has shoppers, I pass the Montclair Mall regularly and the parking lot is like it's always been. Apartments are over $1000 per month - a 3 bedroom home in Ontario is over $1400 in many areas they go for $1800 so who exactly is living in "poverty" and where are they?

The Inland Empire has seen a significant rise in poverty since it became Tijuana North.

Having used to live in the IE and having been away for almost a year, when I came back a few months ago, I was shocked at how bad it is. Strip malls with anchors like Mervyns, etc. are all but parking lots with weeds growing up in the cracks of the asphalt. When you are living in it day to day the changes are subtle. When you leave for a year and come back the changes are massive.

Thanks for nothing Obama!

The deterioration is slow and steady. Property prices are still dropping and quality of life decreasing. Wait ten years and you will see a huge difference.


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