Memphis’ poverty rate improves from highest in country

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis is no longer at the top of the list when it comes to poverty and while the new numbers aren’t great, they are an improvement.

The latest numbers from a Census Bureau survey show the city’s poverty rate at 24.6 percent — down 2.5 percentage points from the previous year’s 26.9 percent, and down 5.2 percentage points from the most recent high of 29.8 percent in 2014, Mayor Jim Strickland said.

New Orleans now tops the list.

Still, Strickland said the city’s poverty rate was “shameful,” and reversing it would be the issue of our time.