News Release


School of Social Sciences


For immediate release

News contact:

Steve McGregor, UTD, (972) 883-2293, smcgreg@utdallas.edu

UTD's Jargowsky Wins Brookings Institution Grant
To Map Distribution of Poverty in Metropolitan Areas

Analysis Based on 2000 Census Data Expected to Assist Policymakers


        RICHARDSON, Texas (June 5, 2002) - The Brookings Institution, a prominent Washington, D.C., think tank, has awarded University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) faculty member Dr. Paul A. Jargowsky a grant to produce an updated map of the distribution of poverty in metropolitan areas of the United States.

Artist's redition of the new Calllier Center for Communication Disorders satelite facility         The $15,000 grant will enable Jargowsky, an associate professor of political economy in UTD's School of Social Sciences, to undertake a project entitled "Windows on Urban Poverty: Describing and Mapping Concentrated Poverty in the 2000 Census."

        The project, using newly released census data, will focus on extremely disadvantaged urban neighborhoods, which typically exhibit high levels of social problems, including crime, drug abuse, delinquency and out-of-wedlock childbearing.

       Jargowsky and his research team will produce a report this fall on the changes between 1990 and 2000 in the concentration of poverty, defined as the percent of poor persons who live in high-poverty neighborhoods isolated from the social and economic mainstream of society. In addition, the UTD team will create an interactive Web site to enable users to view the location of high-poverty areas in selected metropolitan areas and track the growth of such areas over time.

        "The project is an essential first step in a longer-term analytic program to understand the cause and consequences of concentrated poverty," said Jargowsky. "The results should be of vital interest to local policymakers in urban areas concerned about neighborhood change, as well as to state and federal policymakers with responsibility for housing, transportation and social welfare policies."

        According to Jargowsky, anecdotal evidence suggests that the strong economy of recent years probably helped to reduce the concentration of poverty. However, he adds that metropolitan development patterns, including population "deconcentration" and suburban sprawl, may have been a countervailing force, adding to the growth of the physical area of blighted high-poverty ghettos and barrios.

        "Only a thorough analysis of the 2000 Census data can adequately address these issues," Jargowsky said.

        The project will be conducted at UTD's Bruton Center, which Jargowsky directs. The center conducts basic and applied research on the trends, forces and public policies that pertain to urban and regional development.

        Jargowsky holds a Ph.D. degree in Public Policy from Harvard University. His principal areas of research are neighborhood poverty, segregation by race and class and the effects of economic inequality. Jargowsky's book, "Poverty and Place: Ghettos, Barrios, and the American City," is a comprehensive examination of the concentration of poverty in U.S. metropolitan areas. His current work focuses on racial segregation and connections between suburban sprawl and central city decline.

About UTD

        The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor , enrolls more than 7,000 undergraduate and 5,000 graduate students. The school's freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university's Web site at www.utdallas.edu.


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