Nearly one in five Nashville residents were at or below the federal poverty guideline in 2014, according to a city analysis released this month.
The new numbers are broken down by race, age, and geography — and illustrated with dozens of charts — in the latest "Community Needs Evaluation," which runs to 207 pages. (WPLN pulled out five of the most informative graphics. View those in the slideshow above.)
Nashville had seen its poverty rate improve for three years in a row, but that trend has reversed. At 19.9 percent, poverty is almost back to recession levels, and remains above the state and national averages.
For perspective, a family of four is in poverty if household income is under $24,000.
Taken together, the city’s growing population and rising poverty rate mean some 129,000 Nashvillians are struggling to get by.
Metro Social Services reports that the most common challenge for the poor is keeping up with housing costs and utility bills. The agency knows this through surveys and by monitoring the 2-1-1 assistance phone line run by United Way.
Prior Community Needs reports are also available online via Metro Social Services.