Poverty Fact Sheets

The School of Social Work in the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Memphis is dedicated to understanding poverty and its causes through research and engaged scholarship. Our purpose is to identify the most effective ways to eliminate poverty and promote social and economic development for our region. If you would like more information on Memphis poverty, please contact Dr. Elena Delavega at mdlavega@memphis.edu.

Fact Sheets:

2020 Memphis Families in Poverty
2020 Memphis Poverty Fact Sheet
2019 Memphis Poverty Fact Sheet
2019 Jobs Report
2018 Memphis Poverty Fact Sheet
2018 Welfare Fact Sheet
2017 Memphis Poverty Fact Sheet
2016 Trends in Memphis Poverty with Detailed Poverty Tables
2016 Memphis Poverty Fact Sheet
2015 Median Household Income Rankings Report
Is Memphis the Poorest City or Not? Ranking Memphis Poverty
Trends in Memphis Poverty with Detailed Poverty Tables, 2012-2014
Change in Shelby County Educational Attainment 2006-2014
2015 Memphis Poverty Fact Sheet
2014 Memphis Transportation Fact Sheet
2014 Memphis Child Poverty Fact Sheet
2014 Memphis Poverty Fact Sheet
2014 Memphis Unemployment Fact Sheet
2014 Racial Divergence Poverty Ratio
2013 Memphis Poverty Fact Sheet
2012 Detailed Table of Poverty Rates
2012 Memphis Poverty Fact Sheet
2011-2012 Unemployment Fact Sheet Shelby County and the City of Memphis

Earned Income Tax Credit Fact Sheets:

2019 Earned Income Tax Credit: A Primer
Earned Income Fact Sheet
Earned Income Tax Credit Non-Claim Rates in 2011
Earned Income Tax Credit State Ranking Fact Sheet


National Civil Rights Museum Poverty Report: MLK 50

In 2018, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN commemorated the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Elena Delavega partnered with the museum to curate and publish a report examining poverty in the city of Memphis over the course of the 50 years since Dr. King's death. The report was discussed on news outlets around the globe, prompting interviews with Dr. Delavega from the likes of local news channels to international news outlets like Al Jazeera. You can find that report at the link below:

The Poverty Report: Memphis Since MLK: How African Americans and the Poor Have Fared in Memphis and Shelby County Over the Past 50 Years

Poverty through the United States

The University of Memphis is a leader in poverty research. Social Work at the University of Memphis collaborates with faculty throughout the country to produce poverty fact sheets to inform on the state of poverty in various geographical locations. These efforts are designed to strengthen collaborative relationships and to provide comparative poverty data from diverse places in the United States. We serve as a clearinghouse for poverty data and we serve the Memphis community, the state, and the nation.

2017 Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA Poverty Fact Sheet
2017 Lancaster, PA Poverty Fact Sheet
2017 Lebanon County, PA Poverty Fact Sheet
2017 Philadelphia, PA Poverty Fact Sheet
2017 Reading, PA Poverty Fact Sheet
2017 York County, PA Poverty Fact Sheet


Author of fact sheets: Dr. Elena Delavega, Assistant Professor at the University of Memphis School of Social Work, research interests include poverty and the intersection of oppression, marginalization, and exclusion: the role of education, disabilities, and ontologies.