December 1 — 1:21 pm, 2010

Poverty in Philadelphia and its schools: Facts and figures

  • Every school in the School District of Philadelphia satisfies the federal definition of a "low-income school," meaning at least 30 percent of their students are low-income. In the least poor school, Greenberg, the rate is 44 percent.
  • More than three-fourths of the children who attend Philadelphia public schools qualify for free or reduced price lunch.
  • In 74 of 267 Philadelphia District schools, over 90 percent of the student body qualifies for free or reduced price lunch.
  • A third of Philadelphia’s children and a quarter of its residents overall live below the poverty line, making it the poorest of the nation’s 10 biggest cities.
  • According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Philadelphia’s First Congressional District ranks second in the country for "food hardship." More than a third of the residents in 2009 said yes to the question, "Were there times during the last 12 months when you didn’t have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?"

Poverty measures defined:

  • Below the poverty line: federally defined as an income of $22,050 or less for a four-person family.
  • Eligible for free or reduced price lunch: up to 30 percent above the federal poverty line ($28,665) for free lunch; up to 85 percent above the poverty line ($40,793) for reduced lunch.
  • Low-income school: 30 percent or more of the student body qualify for free/reduced lunch.

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