Persistent Poverty

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CDFIs Work to Upend Decades of Poverty

Defined as 20 percent or more of an area’s population living in poverty for 30 or more years, persistent poverty affects 37 million people — more than ten percent of the U.S. population.

In persistently poor areas, historic underinvestment has led to high unemployment; banking, health care, and broadband deserts; and a scarcity of quality, affordable housing, and safe drinking water. People living in persistently poor areas face higher rates of premature death and poor health outcomes.

As specialized lenders in hard-to-serve markets, CDFIs are vital partners in the work to alleviate poverty in rural and urban communities. With our mission to provide responsible, affordable financial products and services, CDFIs direct capital into areas that have struggled to access life’s most essential services.


Capital Matters

Nearly 40 percent of CDFI lending is in persistent poverty areas, a testament to the industry’s targeting of the most economically vulnerable and underserved communities.


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