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Old 01-23-2018, 08:11 PM
 
4,064 posts, read 2,800,975 times
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The college town status of many of these municipalities distorts the findings. Context is important.
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
233 posts, read 144,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
Yes, I was wondering about the students being included in the population. If students are included, why didn't State College, California, Kutztown, Slippery Rock, Edinboro, Millersville, and West Chester make the list?
I think there are a variety of things at play here.

While Bloomsburg University, for example, is located within the boundaries of the Town of Bloomsburg, fellow PASSHE schools Kutztown and Slippery Rock are located outside of their namesake boroughs.

Aside from their student populations, State College and West Chester are fairly affluent towns that have done a good job attracting well paid professionals to live within their borders. Millersville isn’t quite as affluent but has a stronger base of residents earning good incomes.

California and Edinboro aren’t far from making this list however. In fact, according to the numbers on Wikipedia, Edinboro should be on this list. Per capita income in the borough of Edinboro is $12,209, compared with $13,135 for Braddock. California isn’t very far behind at $14,412.

But the more important thing to remember is that any “best of”, “worst of”, “poorest”, or “richest” list that uses municipal boundaries is all but meaningless because of the ridiculously fragmented nature of municipal government in Pennsylvania.

Harrisburg shows up on this “poorest” because, excluding a sliver of nice homes near the river and uptown, city’s rather compact land area is dominated by government and office buildings (which don’t register as earning an income) and acres of poor neighborhoods. But does that mean “Harrisburg”—the community—is impoverished? Certainly not. Go a mile or two into any of the surrounding townships, and you’ll find people living typical middle class existences in decent homes—and some doing much better than just middle class. People earning decent incomes who, if you asked them where they live, would answer “Harrisburg”, people who’s nice homes have Harrisburg addresses...but are just outside the limits of the City of Harrisburg.
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,159 posts, read 681,131 times
Reputation: 1249
Quote:
Originally Posted by briantroutman View Post
I think there are a variety of things at play here.

While Bloomsburg University, for example, is located within the boundaries of the Town of Bloomsburg, fellow PASSHE schools Kutztown and Slippery Rock are located outside of their namesake boroughs.

Aside from their student populations, State College and West Chester are fairly affluent towns that have done a good job attracting well paid professionals to live within their borders. Millersville isn’t quite as affluent but has a stronger base of residents earning good incomes.

California and Edinboro aren’t far from making this list however. In fact, according to the numbers on Wikipedia, Edinboro should be on this list. Per capita income in the borough of Edinboro is $12,209, compared with $13,135 for Braddock. California isn’t very far behind at $14,412.

But the more important thing to remember is that any “best of”, “worst of”, “poorest”, or “richest” list that uses municipal boundaries is all but meaningless because of the ridiculously fragmented nature of municipal government in Pennsylvania.

Harrisburg shows up on this “poorest” because, excluding a sliver of nice homes near the river and uptown, city’s rather compact land area is dominated by government and office buildings (which don’t register as earning an income) and acres of poor neighborhoods. But does that mean “Harrisburg”—the community—is impoverished? Certainly not. Go a mile or two into any of the surrounding townships, and you’ll find people living typical middle class existences in decent homes—and some doing much better than just middle class. People earning decent incomes who, if you asked them where they live, would answer “Harrisburg”, people who’s nice homes have Harrisburg addresses...but are just outside the limits of the City of Harrisburg.

100% true. This article is click bait from Pennlive. I hope we can all recognize that. Pennlive has become notorious for there clickbait and factually inaccurate useless articles like the one they published which we are all discussing. They love it, because for them its working. I am pretty close to stop using them as a news source to be frank.

For Central PA news I will stick to following in this order:
1)The Burg
2) City and State PA
3) Central Penn Business Journal
4) WITF

All 4 of those sources cover nearly every topic Pennlive would cover, and all are quality journalism that do not report this click bait GARBAGE.
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Old 01-24-2018, 04:25 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
5,840 posts, read 2,842,546 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazzwell View Post
Coal Center is technically a village but has two distinct areas. The "village" itself is what's left of the old town. A few streets of houses, post office, a bar and an 84 Lumber store and plant on the old slag heap site. 80 years ago, when the mine was active, a completely different town, as most around here were.

The actual zip code area runs quite large and takes in most of the surrounding farmlands, hollows and a couple of old "patch" towns.

Years ago there was talk of incorporating Coal Center into neighboring California Borough but C-C voted it down. There's really nothing to see there and little to do once you get there. It's just....there.
Villages, though marked with signs on state highways by PennDOT, are not legal municipalities in this state.

There are only four types of those: cities, boroughs, townships and the Town of Bloomsburg, which is administered as a borough. (There's also a fifth type of municipal charter, a "home rule municipality" charter, which may be given to any of these. Those with "municipal" charters may call themselves "municipalities," like Norristown does, and all home rule municipalities are no longer goverened by the state codes governing townships, boroughs, or cities of the third class. All of the first- and second-class cities in the state are home rule municipalities and were prior to the passage of the Home Rule Municipalities Act.)

List of municipalities in Pennsylvania (Wikipedia)

Coal Center Borough still exists and has a population of 139. And it's not even the smallest municipality in the state: that honor goes to the all-but-extinct Centralia Borough, pop. 10 (2012 est.) That's the one that was evacuated because of a coal mine fire that's been raging beneath it since 1961; no one has been able to put out the fire. Centralia's continued existence attests to this fact: once incorporated, no municipality in this state has ever been disincorporated unless by consolidation with an adjacent municipality (the biggest such being the 1854 one that made Philadelphia County and Philadelphia City one and the same).

And Pennsylvania is one of a handful of U.S. states with no unincorporated land within its borders.

So I suspect that the list is not "clickbait" except to the extent that it includes municipalities whose poverty rates are inflated by the college student population. And since the Census Bureau doesn't disaggregate those populations from the overall totals, there's no real way for a junior-grade data analyst like a typical newspaper reporter or editor to do so.

Last edited by MarketStEl; 01-24-2018 at 04:35 AM..
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Old 01-24-2018, 04:34 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
34,557 posts, read 43,673,095 times
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A better way to measure might be by Zip Code.

When I lived in Clarion I was actually in Clarion Township outside Boro limits but my mail was addressed Clarion, PA with that Zip. Down the road a couple miles that transitioned to Strattanville.

A note, most of Slippery Rock University is within Boro limits although some student housing was built outside it several years ago. I think the same is true of Kutztown. It was somewhat controversial at Slippery Rock.
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Old 01-24-2018, 04:41 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
5,840 posts, read 2,842,546 times
Reputation: 3670
Quote:
Originally Posted by briantroutman View Post
But the more important thing to remember is that any “best of”, “worst of”, “poorest”, or “richest” list that uses municipal boundaries is all but meaningless because of the ridiculously fragmented nature of municipal government in Pennsylvania.

Harrisburg shows up on this “poorest” because, excluding a sliver of nice homes near the river and uptown, city’s rather compact land area is dominated by government and office buildings (which don’t register as earning an income) and acres of poor neighborhoods. But does that mean “Harrisburg”—the community—is impoverished? Certainly not. Go a mile or two into any of the surrounding townships, and you’ll find people living typical middle class existences in decent homes—and some doing much better than just middle class. People earning decent incomes who, if you asked them where they live, would answer “Harrisburg”, people who’s nice homes have Harrisburg addresses...but are just outside the limits of the City of Harrisburg.
Since the Bureau of the Census reports poverty rates by municipality (except for Census Designated Places), this may be a "don't shoot the messenger" situation.

There are data analysis tools that allow users to obtain data on a zip code basis (post offices, as you've already noted, do not follow municipal boundaries), such as The Reinvestment Fund's PolicyMap. The folks at the Patriot-News may not have considered it worthwhile to shell out for it.
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:37 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
34,557 posts, read 43,673,095 times
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I mentioned this thread to Mrs. NBP as it related to Clarion and her comment was that the housing prices there don't indicate poverty. Which is true, housing there is expensive for the area.
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:15 AM
 
Location: New York City
6,002 posts, read 5,413,496 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowhomecity View Post
There are quite a few poor towns in Pennsylvania. But Pennlive is notorious with botching geodating. In another list they released the wealthiest zip codes in each county in PA and they attempted to say Fox Chase was the wealthiest 'zip' within Philadelphia.

Mind you Fox Chase is a great area within NE Philadelphia. But everyone on this forum knows that it is not the wealthiest zip code within Philadelphia. I take a great deal of their reporting with a grain of salt and I am constantly analyzing the source and validity.

Sadly I think the quality of their journalism has declined. I even personally messaged the reporter who incorrectly published the information, and received no response. Honestly their ignorance has become concerning too me, but in this time of hyper competitive news with online sources, they have had to cut quality and go for clicks.
Agreed, they use odd metrics to compare towns and statistics, I only trust the Philadelphia business journal when they release the wealth metrics of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecarebear View Post
I am surprised other towns didn't make the list. In the last 8 years, I have watched PA decline. I used to think Alabama and Arkansas were poor...PA is at the same level. To top it off, the opioid crisis is getting worse. I don't see the conditions getting any better with our do-nothing-but-collect-a-paycheck government officials and the welfare-is-an-entitlement populace.
Clearly you aren't well traveled if you are comparing PA to Alabama and Arkansas. The majority of PA is actually beautiful open land with little development. Yes there a ton of depressed tiny towns scattered throughout, but you also have Philadelphia and its region which is among the top economic powerhouses in North America, and you also have Pittsburgh which performs very well. PA is similar to NY, major metros in a corner of the state and the rest is generally rural.

What do Arkansas and Alabama have? Little Rock and Birmingham....
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Old 01-24-2018, 03:47 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
34,557 posts, read 43,673,095 times
Reputation: 44420
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dequindre View Post
The college town status of many of these municipalities distorts the findings. Context is important.
List of Poor Towns Poorly Uses Data :: exploreClarion.com
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Southwest Pa
1,440 posts, read 3,799,497 times
Reputation: 1686
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Coal Center Borough still exists and has a population of 139.
Yes, you are indeed correct. A bit wordy perhaps, but correct.
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