Discover the 5 Poorest Neighborhoods in Multnomah County, Oregon

Multnomah County, located in the northwestern part of Oregon, encompasses a significant portion of Portland along with some surrounding suburbs. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county is home to approximately 812,855 residents. The county’s overall poverty rate stands at 12.3%, slightly above the state average of 12.2% but below the national average of 12.8%.

However, within Multnomah County, there exist noteworthy disparities in poverty levels among various neighborhoods. Certain neighborhoods experience significantly higher poverty rates, underscoring the economic and social challenges they confront. Here, we present the five most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in Multnomah County, Oregon, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and additional sources:

1. Centennial

Situated in the eastern part of Portland, close to the Gresham border, Centennial is home to approximately 23,000 residents. This neighborhood grapples with a staggering poverty rate of 26.6%, more than double the county’s average. The median household income in Centennial is notably lower at $47,000 compared to the county median of $65,000.

Furthermore, the unemployment rate here is significantly elevated at 9.4%, surpassing the county rate of 6.4%. Centennial predominantly consists of single-family homes and apartments, with a homeownership rate of just 49.7%.

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2. Hazelwood

Another eastern Portland neighborhood, Hazelwood, boasts a population of roughly 24,000 people. It contends with a poverty rate of 25.8%, also more than double the county average. The median household income in Hazelwood hovers around $46,000, lower than the county median.

Additionally, the neighborhood has an unemployment rate of 8.9% and a homeownership rate of 46.9%. Hazelwood is known for its diversity, with a substantial Asian population of 17.5% and a significant foreign-born resident percentage of 22.9%.

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3. Powellhurst-Gilbert

Powellhurst-Gilbert, situated in the southeastern part of Portland near the Clackamas County border, houses approximately 29,000 residents. Its poverty rate of 25% is more than double the county average, while the median household income stands at $48,000, again below the county median.

The neighborhood faces an unemployment rate of 8.7% and boasts a homeownership rate of 52.5%. Powellhurst-Gilbert is also marked by diversity, with a sizable Hispanic or Latino population of 19% and a notable foreign-born resident percentage of 21%.

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4. Lents

In the southeastern part of Portland, near the Clackamas County and Happy Valley borders, Lents is home to around 20,000 residents. The poverty rate in Lents stands at 24%, twice the county average.

The median household income here is $49,000, lower than the county median, with an unemployment rate of 8% and a homeownership rate of 54%. Lents is one of Portland’s oldest neighborhoods, characterized by historic buildings and landmarks.

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5. Montavilla

Montavilla, located in the northeast part of Portland near the Gresham and Maywood Park borders, is inhabited by roughly 16,000 residents. The neighborhood grapples with a poverty rate of 23%, almost double the county average.

Median household income in Montavilla is approximately $51,000, below the county median, with an unemployment rate of 7% and a homeownership rate of 51%. Montavilla is a mixed-use neighborhood, featuring residential, commercial, and industrial areas.

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These five neighborhoods represent the most economically challenged areas in Multnomah County, Oregon, as per data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other reliable sources. They exhibit higher poverty rates, lower income levels, elevated unemployment rates, and reduced homeownership rates compared to the county averages. These communities also face multifaceted challenges including affordable housing shortages and limited access to healthcare, education, and transportation. These disparities underscore the broader economic and social inequalities that persist within Multnomah County and across the nation.

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