Cleveland is the most distressed city in America. That’s according to a new study that looked at the gap between the richest and poorest communities following the recession.
The Economic Innovation Group, a nonprofit organization based out of DC, used the latest Census Bureau data to assess the economic well-being of every zip code in the U.S. between 2010 and 2014.
The report found in Cleveland: 1 in 5 homes were vacant, 1 in 5 people over the age of 25 didn't graduate from high school and 36% of the city’s residents lived in poverty.
These were some of the factors that made Cleveland the most distressed city in the nation.
John Lettieri with the Economic Innovation Group says Cleveland is like other urban areas trying to rebuild after the recession and a slowing manufacturing industry.
“I want to emphasize that this doesn't mean that there isn't progress being made in Cleveland,” he said. “You see signs of that happening with investors and new types of companies coming in but you need that to be sustained over a period of time.”
There is long term growth, says Richey Piiparinen, with Cleveland State University’s College of Urban Affairs. He says there’s a push to get young people trained in the city’s medical field.
“The Cleveland Clinic is talking with Cleveland Metropolitan Schools to get in health care programs in 9th and 10th grade,” Piiparinen said. “So as soon as they leave they have the requisite skill to enter the work force or enter a secondary or certificate.”
Other Ohio cities on the most distressed list include Toledo at number 4 and Cincinnati rounding out the top 10.