Duval County, Florida, situated in the Jacksonville metropolitan area, is the state’s most populous county, home to over 950,000 residents. It ranks as the seventh most populous county in Florida, boasting a rich history, diverse culture, and a thriving economy.
Nonetheless, not all neighborhoods in Duval County share equal affluence. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 data, Duval County’s median household income stands at $60,903, slightly below the state median of $63,062. The county’s poverty rate is 14.5%, a tad higher than the state’s average of 13.5%. Certain neighborhoods within Duval County grapple with higher poverty levels, unemployment, crime rates, and various social issues.
In this article, we will explore the five most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in Duval County, examining their median household incomes, poverty rates, and other key indicators. These neighborhoods include:
1. New Town
Located west of downtown Jacksonville, New Town houses approximately 8,000 residents, predominantly African American. New Town’s median household income is just $23,750, less than half of the county’s median of $60,903.
A staggering 46% of New Town’s population lives below the poverty line, which is more than three times the county average of 14.5%. The neighborhood also grapples with elevated unemployment rates and lower educational attainment levels.
New Town, despite its historical significance, has faced prolonged neglect, urban decay, and social issues, including crime and violence. Gentrification, displacement, and environmental concerns add to the neighborhood’s challenges.
North of downtown Jacksonville, Brentwood is home to around 6,000 residents, primarily African American. With a median household income of $25,833, Brentwood falls far short of the county median.
The poverty rate in Brentwood is a staggering 40%, nearly three times higher than the county average of 14.5%. The neighborhood also contends with a high crime rate and low homeownership rates.
Brentwood, while established and stable, has endured decades of poverty, segregation, and discrimination. It faces additional pressures from rising rents, development projects, and neighborhood transformations.
3. Moncrief Park
Moncrief Park, situated northwest of downtown Jacksonville, boasts a diverse population of around 10,000 residents, predominantly of African American descent. The neighborhood’s median household income stands at $27,500, less than half of the county median of $60,903.
A significant 36% of Moncrief Park’s residents live in poverty, more than double the county average of 14.5%. High unemployment rates and subpar housing quality further contribute to its challenges.
Despite its vibrancy and cultural heritage, particularly with its immigrant communities from Haiti, Jamaica, and other Caribbean countries, Moncrief Park contends with issues like poverty, crime, and environmental concerns.
4. Grand Park
Located to the west of downtown Jacksonville, Grand Park is home to roughly 7,000 residents, predominantly African American. The neighborhood’s median household income of $28,750 falls well below the county median.
Grand Park’s poverty rate stands at 34%, more than double the county average of 14.5%. The neighborhood also grapples with a high population density and limited housing affordability.
Grand Park, known for its historical and scenic charm, featuring various parks and green spaces, has a rich legacy of civic and social activism. However, it also faces challenges such as poor infrastructure, inadequate services, and social issues.
Situated north of downtown Jacksonville, Springfield boasts a population of approximately 9,000 residents, with a predominantly white and Hispanic demographic. Springfield’s median household income is $30,833, less than half of the county median of $60,903.
The poverty rate in Springfield is 30%, more than double the county average of 14.5%. The neighborhood also contends with a high crime rate and subpar housing quality.
Springfield, one of the city’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods, faces persistent decline, blight, and violence. It also confronts challenges like gentrification, displacement, and preservation concerns.
These neighborhoods represent some of the most economically disadvantaged areas in Duval County, Florida. Their struggles include low incomes, high poverty rates, inadequate housing, limited services, and various social issues.
However, they also possess unique strengths in terms of diversity, culture, history, and resilience. It is imperative that these communities receive increased attention and support from both governmental and societal sources to enhance their living conditions and opportunities.