Location

You are viewing the Location section of the Forsyth County Poverty Study. Click here to return to the table of contents.
Other sections of this report identify county-wide associations between poverty and various risk factors such as employment, education, family type, etc.  However, not all risk factors have high prevalence in all locations of high poverty.  Many risk factors are most prevalent in locations of high poverty; however, no risk factor has high prevalence in every location with high poverty, and some factors have high prevalence in locations that do not have high poverty rates.
This section examines the locations with the highest prevalence of various risk factors of poverty within Forsyth County and whether these locations roughly correspond to locations of concentrated poverty.  Locations with poverty rates of at least 40% are classified as locations of concentrated poverty.  While residents living in locations of concentrated poverty may or may not be in poverty themselves, living in a location of concentrated poverty makes these residents more likely be in poverty in the future (1-3).  
The geographic distribution of locations of concentrated poverty is important because it may be particularly difficult for residents living in these locations to access services and employment opportunities.  Households are roughly half as likely to have access to a car when they are in poverty (4). Many representatives from community organizations in Forsyth County pointed to lack of adequate transportation options as a potential cause of poverty through community interviews conducted as part of this study. 
This analysis measures each risk factor using census tracts, which are described in detail in the methodology section of this report.  Due to the small population in each census tract, data for individual census tracts can be unreliable and should not be examined in isolation.  Therefore, this section focuses on patterns that emerge across tracts. 

Important Links

Data 101
Data Glossary
Methodology
About this Study
Executive Summary
Key Findings

Core Concepts 

This section examines how closely locations of concentrated poverty correspond to the locations with the highest prevalence of various risk factors.  The locations where each risk factor examined in this section is most prevalent are often in and around locations of concentrated poverty.  However, not all locations of concentrated poverty are exposed to each risk factor to the same degree.     
Figure 1: Reference Map of Forsyth County
Figure 1 shows the location of cities and some highways in Forsyth County.  Much of this information is omitted in other maps in this section in order to clearly present tract-level data.
Figure 2: Percent of Residents in Poverty in Forsyth County by Census Tract, 2010-2014
According to Figure 2, census tracts with concentrated poverty (depicted in the darkest shade) are mostly located within Winston-Salem, especially to the east of US 52 near its intersection with I-40 Business.  Separate analysis has shown that residents living in poverty are more likely to lack access to household vehicles (4), so proximity to services and employment opportunities may be especially important in locations with higher poverty rates.

Race/Ethnicity

Figure 3: Percent of Residents who Are African American in Forsyth County by Census Tract, 2010-2014
Roughly one-third of African American residents live in locations of concentrated poverty. Figure 3 demonstrates that a greater percentage of residents are African American in tracts towards the center of the county, with the greatest percentages found in and around locations of concentrated poverty. 
Figure 4:  Percent of Residents who Are Hispanic/Latino in Forsyth County by Census Tract, 2010-2014 
Roughly a quarter of Hispanic/Latino residents in Forsyth County live in concentrated poverty.  Figure 4 demonstrates that Hispanic/Latino residents often live south of I-40 Business or west of Highway 52, often in and around locations of concentrated poverty. 

Education

Figure 5: Percent of Residents without a Post-Secondary Degree in Forsyth County by Census Tract, 2010-2014 
Figure 5 demonstrates that in almost every tract with concentrated poverty, over half of residents age 25 and over do not have a post-secondary education.  In general, residents in the eastern side of the county are less likely to have a post-secondary degree than those in the western side of the county.

Unemployment

Figure 6: Unemployment Rates in Forsyth County by Census Tract, 2010-2014
Figure 6 illustrates that, while the locations with the highest unemployment rates are typically in locations of concentrated poverty, not all locations of concentrated poverty have high unemployment rates. The highest unemployment rates are typically found east of Highway 52. 

Homeownership

Figure 7: Homeownership Rates in Forsyth County by Census Tract, 2010-2014
Figure 7 shows that the lowest homeownership rates are often found in locations of concentrated poverty. This could reflect lower asset ownership in general, which could create financial insecurity, placing residents at increased risk of poverty in the future (2).

Age

Figure 8: Median Age in Forsyth County by Census Tract, 2010-2014
Figure 8 demonstrates that residents in tracts towards the center of the county tend to be younger, and many of the tracts with the youngest residents are in locations of concentrated poverty.
Figure 9: Percent of Residents who Are Children in Forsyth County by Census Tract, 2010-2014
Figure 9 shows that tracts with the highest concentrations of children are typically in locations of concentrated poverty, although children are present in every community.  The tracts with the most children also typically have the highest median household size (4).
Figure 10: Bus Routes in Forsyth County, 2014
Figure 10 shows the Winston-Salem Transit Authority (WSTA) bus routes offered in 2014.
  • Separate analysis has demonstrated that residents are less likely to have household access to a car if they are in poverty (4).  This could isolate them from employment opportunities and important services, making it even more difficult to escape poverty in the future. 
  • Accessible bus routes with adequate coverage could provide access to services and employment opportunities for households without cars, but there is not sufficient data to assess the quality of bus routes.
  • Roughly 75% of locations of concentrated poverty are within a quarter mile of a WSTA route.  All locations of concentrated poverty are within a mile of a WSTA route.   
  • Separate analysis has demonstrated that roughly 1% of workers in Forsyth County use public transit to commute to work, and their commute times are roughly twice that of other workers (4).
  • Since 2014, there have been some changes to WSTA routes and timetables.

Christopher
Christopher is a Data and Research Analyst with Forsyth Futures.  He performs statistical analysis and programming to support work on community issues in Forsyth County. 
He holds a Master's in Public Policy from American University and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Business.
If you have questions or comments about the data presented in this section, please contact Christopher at Christopher@ForsythFutures.org or by phone at 336.701.1700 ext. 108.

Literature References

1. Kneebone, E., Nadeau, C., & Berube, A. (2011). The re-emergence of concentrated poverty. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/research/the-re-emergence-of-concentrated-poverty-metropolitan-trends-in-the-2000s
2. Rothwell, J. (2014). The Neighborhood effect: Localities and upward mobility.  Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2014/11/12/the-neighborhood-effect-localities-and-upward-mobility
3. Sharkey, P. (2009). Neighborhoods and the black-white mobility gap. Retrieved from http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/wwwpewtrustsorg/reports/economic_mobility/pewsharkeyv12pdf.pdf
4. Forsyth Futures analysis. Contact Christopher Webb at christopher@forsythfutures.org for more information.

Tabular References


Figure 2: U.S. Department of Commerce. (2015). Poverty status in the past 12 months: Table S1701 [ Data files from ACS 5-year estimates for the years 2010-2014]. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_14_5YR_S1701&prodType=table 
Figures 3-5: U.S. Department of Commerce. (2015). Selected characteristics of the total and native populations in the United States: Table S0601 [ Data files from ACS 5-year estimates for the years 2010-2014]. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_14_5YR_S0601&prodType=table 
Figure 6: U.S. Department of Commerce. (2015).  Employment Status S2301 [Data Files from ACS 5-year estimates for the years 2010-2014]. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_14_5YR_S2301&prodType=table 
Figure 7: U.S. Department of Commerce. (2015).  Tenure: Table B25003 [Data Files from ACS 5-year estimates for the years 2010-2014]. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_14_5YR_B25003&prodType=table 
Figure 8: U.S. Department of Commerce. (2015).  Median age by sex B01002 [Data Files from ACS 5-year estimates for the years 2010-2014]. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_14_5YR_B01002&prodType=table 
Figure 9: U.S. Department of Commerce. (2015).  Sex by age B01001[Data Files from ACS 5-year estimates for the years 2010-2014]. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_14_5YR_B01001&prodType=table