Camden Replaces Reading as Poorest City in America

New census figures show Camden, N.J. now has the dubious distinction of being the country's most-impoverished city.

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012  |  Updated 11:31 AM EDT
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Mayor Spencer Hopes to Turn Reading Around

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An outreach worker from the Camden Area Health Education Center, distributing health advice to some of the city's residents in 2005.

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Mayor Spencer Hopes to Turn Reading Around

Two months ago Mayor Vaughn Spencer became the first African American mayor for the city of Reading, Pa. Mayor Spencer is hoping to make positive changes for the city so it is no longer the poorest city in America. NBC10's Monique Braxton talks to Mayor Spencer about his plans.
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New statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau suggest the Pennsylvania city of Reading is no longer the county's poorest.

Census figures say the poverty rate in Reading dropped from 41.3 percent in 2010 to 40.1 in 2011. That means the city of about 88,000 people is no longer considered the country's most-impoverished.

The Reading Eagle reports Thursday the city's average household income increased 2.8 percent in 2011 to $34,083.

The census figures show Camden, N.J. now has the dubious distinction of being the country's most-impoverished city. Reading is sixth.

But an official with the United Way in Reading cautions that the rates are just estimates.

Senior Vice President of Community Impact Pat Giles says the margin of error for Reading, Camden and other similarly struggling cities mean it's hard to tell which one truly has the highest rate.

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