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Cleveland overtakes Detroit as poorest big city in U.S., census finds

The Detroit News

For the first time since at least the 2010 census, Detroit is no longer the most impoverished big city in the nation — but just barely.

Cleveland, at 30.8% of its residents living below the poverty line, was the poorest large U.S. city in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey results released Thursday.

Detroit was second at 30.6%, a decline of 2.8 percentage points to its lowest level since before 2010.

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More significantly, the percentage of Detroiters living in poverty has fallen from a recent high of 42.3% in 2012, just after the Great Recession and a year before the city filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

“This has been our strategy,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, who has focused on job creation. "Every day I’m talking to a major employer who is looking to move into the city."

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