24.5% of Texas residents live in distressed zip codes, study finds

The share of Texas residents living in economically distressed zip codes stands at 24.5 percent, the 10th highest percentage among the 50 states and District of Columbia, according to a study from the advocacy organization Economic Innovation Group.

More than 50 percent of the 50.5 million Americans living in distressed zip codes are people of color, the group’s Distressed Communities Index report found, and many of the gaps between the nation’s Black and white households have widened between the years 2000 and 2018. The index divides zip codes into the following groupings: prosperous, comfortable, mid-tier, at risk and distressed.

Geographic prosperity in the nation has shifted to states in the Northwest such as Idaho, Montana, Washington and Oregon, according to the report. In addition, urban areas have accumulated an increased share of prosperity, and states with large cities benefited from the trend, researchers found.

Distressed communities, on average, have a quarter of their residents living in poverty, the study found, and 35 percent of their key working-age populations are unemployed.

Share of State Populations Living in Distressed Zip Codes

Rank State / Territory % of Residents Living in Distressed Zip Codes
1 Mississippi 45.4%
2 West Virginia 43.8%
3 Louisiana 39.1%
4 Alabama 38.2%
5 Kentucky 37.2%
6 New Mexico 37.0%
7 Arkansas 33.2%
8 Oklahoma 31.9%
9 Rhode Island 27.0%
10 Texas 24.5%
11 Missouri 23.0%
12 South Carolina 22.5%
13 Illinois 22.1%
14 Tennessee 21.3%
15 Georgia 20.8%
16 Ohio 19.2%
17 Indiana 18.5%
18 North Carolina 17.6%
19 (tie) Arizona 16.5%
19 (tie) Pennsylvania 16.5%
21 Michigan 16.4%
22 Nevada 16.2%
23 Kansas 15.0%
24 Virginia 14.9%
25 District of Columbia 14.7%
26 Connecticut 13.8%
27 New York 11.6%
28 New Jersey 11.3%
29 Florida 9.6%
30 Delaware 8.7%
31 Montana 8.3%
32 (tie) Wisconsin 8.2%
32 (tie) Maryland 8.2%
34 California 8.0%
35 Massachusetts 7.9%
36 Alaska 7.7%
37 Wyoming 7.6%
38 Maine 7.3%
39 South Dakota 7.2%
40 Iowa 6.0%
41 (tie) Colorado 4.2%
41 (tie) Oregon 4.2%
43 (tie) New Hampshire 4.1%
43 (tie) Nebraska 4.1%
45 North Dakota 3.2%
46 Idaho 3.0%
47 Minnesota 2.9%
48 (tie) Utah 2.7%
48 (tie) Washington 2.7%
50 Vermont 2.0%
51 Hawaii 0.6%

Source: Economic Innovation Group

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