A new survey tool shows prosperity on the wane in Duluth. Community leaders unveiled the Duluth Prosperity agenda in January to monitor factors including employment, education level and poverty rates in the city. Over 11 months, the index has declined 14 percent.
Project leaders blame a spike in poverty, according to Angie Miller, with Community Action Duluth.
"Twenty-five percent of people in Duluth are below the poverty level," said Miller. "Families with children under 5, across the board, have a poverty rate of almost 39 percent. And for every single indicator for people of color, compared to whites, there is a disparity."
Organizers say they're doing a better job counting both college students and people in multi-family homes, which may account for some of the spike in poverty.
They also say the disappointing results should inspire the community to work harder to address poverty in Duluth.