The Issues

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Economic Health
31% of residents in low and very low opportunity communities live in poverty. This is 3.5 times more than poverty in high and very high opportunity communities. The medium household income in high and very high opportunity communities is more than 2 times higher than the medium household income in low and very low opportunity communities. Public cash assistance is used more by those in low and very low opportunity communities; 7% compared to 4% in moderate opportunity communities and 2% in high and very high opportunity communities. Unemployment in low and very low opportunity communities is 20%, and it is 7% in high and very high opportunity communities. In high and very high opportunity communities, two times more individuals earned an Associate’s degree or higher and 3 times more individuals earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher than in low and very low opportunity communities.
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Education
The percent of kindergartens that scored in the highest level on the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment - Literacy (KRA-L) is 82% higher in the high and very high opportunity communities compared to the low and very low opportunity communities. There is not a significant difference between the attendance rates among students in kindergarten through 12th grade between communities with varying levels of opportunity. In low and very low opportunity communities, 63% of 3rd graders passed the Reading section of the Ohio Achievement Assessment (OAA) compared to 91% in neighborhoods with high and very high opportunity. A little less than half of 4th graders in low and very low opportunity communities passed the Math portion of the OAA. In the high and very high opportunity communities, 86% of 4th graders passed the Math section of the state test. 91% of 10th graders in high and very high opportunity communities and 66% of 10th graders in low and very low opportunity communities passed the Ohio Graduation Test. The 4-year graduation rate is greater in high and very high opportunity communities than in low and very low opportunity communities (93% vs. 78%).
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Health and Safety
The percentage of low birth weight births in low and very low opportunity communities is higher than in high and very high opportunity communities (11.6% vs. 6.5%). Births to teens between the ages of 15 and 17 are almost 4 times more in low and very low opportunity communities compared to high and very high opportunity communities. In high and very high opportunity communities, 8% of residents lack health insurance, but in low and very low opportunity communities 18% do not have health insurance. The death rate for cancer and heart disease, the two leading causes of death, is highest in the communities with the low and very low opportunity. The drug overdose mortality rate is 319% higher in low and very low opportunity communities than in high and very high opportunity communities. The crime rate for violent and property crimes is 79% higher in low and very low opportunity communities as compared to high and very high opportunity communities.
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Housing & Neighborhood Conditions
Historically neighborhoods continue to be changed by the loss of generational wealth and the erosion of owner-occupied homes. Middle-class families have moved out of Dayton, resulting in concentrations of poverty that exacerbate neighborhood instability. For instance, the median house value in Southern Dayton View is $46,900, while most banks and other mortgage lenders do not market conventional loan products to purchase a house valued at less than $75,000. This means loans are not available for anyone who wants to buy a house in Dayton’s most distressed communities. That makes housing choices elusive, particularly for people of color or those wanting to live in neighborhoods of color.