A troubled Memphis is getting national attention

Dec 18, 2017

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  A new report lists Tennessee's second largest city as one of the neediest communities in the country.

Our reporting partners at Wallethub ranked the 180 largest metro areas using 25 key indicators of what they call “economic disadvantage.” 

Credit City of Memphis

The personal finance website measured poverty rates, food security, and whether homes had things like working bathrooms or kitchens.

Wallethub analyst Jill Gonzalez says considering those factors, Memphis ranks as the fourth neediest city in the nation, coming in behind Newark, New Jersey; Cleveland, Ohio; and Detroit, Michigan.

Gonzalez says poverty rates in Memphis really hurt the city’s ranking.

“The child poverty rate is one of the highest in the country at 45 percent; nearly half of all children. The adult poverty rate is more like 22 percent; again, very high.”

Gonzalez says some Memphis residents lack all of the services that define modern life.

“We’re seeing that when it comes to the percentage of homes that lack adequate plumbing, or a complete kitchen, it’s quite a large part of the population.”

While they scored much better than Memphis, all three of Tennessee’s other major cities placed in the list’s top third. Chattanooga ranked as the 35th neediest city, Knoxville came in at 49th, while Nashville placed at 56th.

Would you like to review the complete Wallethub list of 2017’s Neediest Cities?