Demographic data can say a lot about who lives in a city. It can also be an indicator of that city's finances.

Generally speaking, if a city has a high number of residents who consume more public resources than they contribute to the tax base, there will more likely be potential problems for that city's fiscal outlook. 

New 2015 estimates from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey published Thursday provide an updated demographic snapshot for localities. We’ve compiled data on a few key measures -- poverty, aging populations and employment status -- for the 500 largest cities, showing places facing steeper demographic hurdles.

High poverty rates, high unemployment and older populations can stretch a city's services thin. While state and federal programs provide a lot of support, localities inevitably are burdened with additional costs.

In fact, some research suggests there's a tipping point when it comes to these measures. The more services a city needs to provide, the more tax revenue it must raise from residents. If the proportion of a city's residents who are either elderly or living in poverty gets high enough, it could cause middle-class residents to move away.

Robert Inman, a University of Pennsylvania professor, has conducted research exploring how “bad” demographics act as a risk factor for cities. He’s devised a figure -- 35 percent of a city’s population being either elderly or living in poverty -- that, if exceeded, could signal significant fiscal problems. It’s based on the assumption that at this level, middle-income residents will pay roughly 20 percent higher taxes for the same services as they would in nearby jurisdictions, leading them to consider moving out of the city.

“Cities are going to feel this kind of demographic pressure on their budgets,” said Inman. “But good economies and good policies can overcome the demographic disadvantage.”

In Flint, Mich., the latest Census estimates suggest that people either living in poverty or age 75 and up account for a staggering 45 percent of the total population -- the highest share in the country. Estimates for Detroit and Cleveland aren’t too far behind. 

Of the nation’s 500 largest localities, 22 exceeded the 35-percent population threshold in 2015. Nationally, about 20 percent of Americans were living in poverty or at least 75 years old.

Within some regions, stark demographic divides exist.

Consider Camden, N.J., where 43 percent of residents live in poverty or are elderly, compared to about 18 percent for the rest of the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metro area.

Factoring both poverty rates and employment serves as an alternative measure. The cities where more residents are either unemployed or hold jobs and earn less than the poverty rate mostly mirrors Inman’s metric. On average, about 55 percent of cities' total population -- including children and those of retirement age -- fall into this group.

Jurisdiction Share in Poverty or Age 75+ Share in Poverty, Age 75+ or Under 18 Share Unemployed, Workers Earning Below Poverty Level
Flint, Michigan 45.3% 55.8% 74.4%
Detroit, Michigan 44.1% 54.8% 73.5%
Camden, New Jersey 42.9% 59.1% 70.2%
Athens-Clarke County, Georgia 42.1% 51.6% 66.1%
Reading, Pennsylvania 41.1% 53.9% 68.1%
Bloomington, Indiana 40.7% 50.7% 60.9%
Cleveland, Ohio 39.7% 51.1% 66.8%
Greenville, North Carolina 39.4% 50.6% 63.1%
Gainesville, Florida 38.8% 49.8% 60.9%
Merced, California 38.7% 54.5% 73.0%
Dayton, Ohio 37.6% 50.3% 66.9%
Buffalo, New York 37.2% 48.1% 62.2%
Brownsville, Texas 36.9% 53.4% 68.3%
Rochester, New York 36.4% 48.5% 63.4%
San Bernardino, California 35.6% 53.1% 67.2%
Jackson, Mississippi 35.4% 49.2% 63.8%
Hialeah, Florida 35.3% 46.5% 62.1%
Syracuse, New York 35.3% 48.3% 62.4%
Kalamazoo, Michigan 35.2% 48.8% 60.1%
Fort Smith, Arkansas 35.2% 48.0% 64.9%
Hemet, California 35.1% 53.5% 72.7%
Gary, Indiana 35.0% 48.9% 69.0%
Birmingham, Alabama 34.8% 45.8% 61.1%
Dearborn, Michigan 34.6% 49.6% 66.1%
New Haven, Connecticut 34.4% 47.4% 58.8%
College Station, Texas 34.3% 49.8% 58.5%
Iowa City, Iowa 34.2% 49.1% 56.7%
Pompano Beach, Florida 34.0% 46.1% 61.8%
Edinburg, Texas 33.9% 50.7% 63.5%
Pharr, Texas 33.8% 55.3% 71.5%
Laredo, Texas 33.4% 52.4% 65.0%
Lake Charles, Louisiana 33.0% 47.0% 60.8%
Paterson, New Jersey 32.9% 48.0% 64.8%
Tallahassee, Florida 32.5% 45.0% 57.8%
Newark, New Jersey 32.4% 47.6% 64.3%
Cincinnati, Ohio 32.2% 45.6% 59.0%
Waterbury, Connecticut 32.2% 47.0% 62.3%
Pueblo, Colorado 32.1% 46.3% 64.1%
Decatur, Illinois 32.1% 45.5% 60.8%
Fresno, California 32.0% 49.3% 64.9%
Macon-Bibb County, Georgia 31.9% 46.0% 63.5%
Miami, Florida 31.8% 43.3% 56.8%
Erie, Pennsylvania 31.8% 46.4% 60.4%
Springfield, Missouri 31.6% 44.4% 58.1%
Akron, Ohio 31.5% 43.6% 58.7%
Springfield, Massachusetts 31.5% 48.2% 62.6%
Waco, Texas 31.4% 48.2% 61.6%
Toledo, Ohio 31.4% 44.2% 60.2%
Chico, California 31.3% 46.1% 61.2%
Providence, Rhode Island 31.2% 46.7% 60.1%
Lynchburg, Virginia 31.2% 46.3% 59.8%
Savannah, Georgia 31.2% 44.7% 59.3%
Scranton, Pennsylvania 31.1% 43.6% 57.1%
South Bend, Indiana 31.0% 47.5% 60.9%
New Britain, Connecticut 31.0% 46.5% 61.1%
Lansing, Michigan 30.9% 43.9% 58.2%
Hartford, Connecticut 30.8% 46.2% 62.2%
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 30.5% 46.5% 59.7%
Tucson, Arizona 30.5% 44.6% 61.1%
Hesperia, California 30.4% 49.9% 69.5%
Memphis, Tennessee 30.3% 44.7% 60.1%
Miami Gardens, Florida 30.2% 46.2% 65.4%
Knoxville, Tennessee 30.2% 41.7% 54.8%
Allentown, Pennsylvania 30.1% 46.3% 60.3%
Wilmington, North Carolina 30.1% 42.9% 58.1%
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 30.1% 43.9% 60.4%
Eugene, Oregon 29.7% 43.6% 59.3%
High Point, North Carolina 29.7% 44.2% 60.3%
Boynton Beach, Florida 29.7% 43.6% 60.7%
Trenton, New Jersey 29.4% 46.3% 61.7%
Medford, Oregon 29.4% 45.4% 61.5%
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 29.3% 44.5% 58.3%
Provo, Utah 29.1% 49.5% 60.6%
Evansville, Indiana 29.1% 41.1% 56.6%
St. Louis, Missouri 29.1% 41.4% 56.7%
Lawrence, Massachusetts 29.0% 44.7% 58.9%
Lawrence, Kansas 29.0% 45.7% 56.5%
Yakima, Washington 28.9% 45.9% 60.3%
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 28.9% 41.4% 60.9%
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 28.9% 39.7% 54.6%
Richmond, Virginia 28.9% 40.4% 55.0%
Champaign, Illinois 28.8% 43.1% 54.6%
New Bedford, Massachusetts 28.6% 43.1% 57.7%
Shreveport, Louisiana 28.5% 45.0% 61.8%
Albany, New York 28.5% 38.8% 53.0%
McAllen, Texas 28.4% 47.9% 64.4%
Fayetteville, Arkansas 28.4% 44.4% 56.9%
Rockford, Illinois 28.3% 44.5% 61.9%
Las Cruces, New Mexico 28.3% 44.3% 63.5%
Roanoke, Virginia 28.1% 41.8% 58.1%
Montgomery, Alabama 28.1% 43.6% 59.6%
Chattanooga, Tennessee 28.0% 42.9% 59.1%
Grand Rapids, Michigan 27.9% 43.3% 56.3%
Pine Hills, Florida 27.8% 46.9% 58.0%
Columbia, Missouri 27.8% 44.4% 55.0%
Augusta-Richmond County, Georgia 27.8% 43.1% 63.5%
Hammond, Indiana 27.7% 41.3% 59.6%
Ann Arbor, Michigan 27.7% 39.1% 55.2%
Tyler, Texas 27.6% 43.2% 58.4%
New Orleans, Louisiana 27.5% 40.7% 56.9%
Bellingham, Washington 27.4% 42.0% 56.6%
Arden-Arcade, California 27.4% 41.7% 58.4%
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27.4% 43.2% 59.2%
Springfield, Illinois 27.3% 41.4% 57.2%
Warren, Michigan 27.2% 40.3% 59.5%
Lubbock, Texas 27.2% 44.8% 56.9%
Baltimore, Maryland 27.2% 41.1% 58.2%
Yuma, Arizona 27.1% 44.3% 66.1%
Mission, Texas 26.8% 48.9% 68.4%
El Monte, California 26.8% 40.8% 60.6%
Wichita Falls, Texas 26.8% 44.0% 57.9%
Worcester, Massachusetts 26.8% 40.7% 56.0%
Atlanta, Georgia 26.7% 38.3% 52.2%
Columbus, Georgia 26.6% 43.7% 65.8%
Independence, Missouri 26.6% 41.6% 57.8%
Columbia, South Carolina 26.6% 40.4% 57.0%
Lehigh Acres, Florida 26.4% 44.4% 64.4%
Modesto, California 26.3% 43.8% 63.9%
Lakeland, Florida 26.3% 43.0% 61.9%
Fall River, Massachusetts 26.3% 37.6% 57.5%
Sunrise Manor, Nevada 26.3% 43.1% 60.8%
Tulsa, Oklahoma 26.2% 42.8% 56.1%
Redding, California 26.2% 42.1% 59.5%
Kansas City, Kansas 26.2% 44.2% 57.2%
Glendale, Arizona 26.2% 43.9% 60.5%
Visalia, California 26.2% 46.9% 65.3%
Lancaster, California 26.1% 46.4% 65.4%
Stockton, California 26.1% 45.3% 64.8%
Mobile, Alabama 26.0% 41.7% 59.3%
Phoenix, Arizona 26.0% 43.6% 58.1%
Ogden, Utah 25.9% 44.0% 58.5%
Dallas, Texas 25.7% 42.6% 55.6%
St. Joseph, Missouri 25.7% 42.2% 55.4%
Racine, Wisconsin 25.6% 45.1% 59.1%
El Cajon, California 25.6% 44.3% 60.8%
Inglewood, California 25.6% 42.5% 59.4%
Lafayette, Louisiana 25.6% 42.8% 55.1%
Elizabeth, New Jersey 25.4% 43.3% 57.0%
Boulder, Colorado 25.4% 37.4% 50.1%
Brockton, Massachusetts 25.3% 42.1% 55.3%
Westland, Michigan 25.3% 38.1% 56.2%
Albuquerque, New Mexico 25.3% 41.6% 58.1%
Victorville, California 25.2% 48.8% 68.6%
Fort Myers, Florida 25.2% 38.6% 57.0%
Topeka, Kansas 25.2% 42.7% 57.5%
East Los Angeles, California 25.2% 43.2% 61.2%
Huntsville, Alabama 25.2% 39.7% 56.4%
Waukegan, Illinois 25.2% 43.7% 56.5%
Santa Maria, California 25.1% 47.4% 59.7%
Gastonia, North Carolina 25.1% 41.7% 58.3%
Perris, California 25.1% 46.6% 63.7%
Bryan, Texas 25.1% 42.0% 55.2%
Compton, California 24.9% 45.0% 63.2%
Bridgeport, Connecticut 24.9% 41.0% 57.0%
Tampa, Florida 24.9% 40.2% 55.8%
Chicago, Illinois 24.8% 39.6% 55.3%
Largo, Florida 24.7% 38.3% 55.4%
Berkeley, California 24.7% 37.2% 51.0%
Indianapolis, Indiana 24.7% 41.7% 56.1%
Hawthorne, California 24.7% 41.7% 56.3%
Sacramento, California 24.7% 42.1% 59.4%
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 24.7% 38.3% 54.1%
Norfolk, Virginia 24.7% 40.3% 60.1%
St. Paul, Minnesota 24.7% 41.2% 54.3%
Los Angeles, California 24.6% 39.8% 55.1%
Yonkers, New York 24.6% 40.0% 55.6%
Hollywood, Florida 24.6% 39.3% 54.9%
Poinciana, Florida 24.6% 41.8% 65.3%
Melbourne, Florida 24.5% 38.6% 57.7%
Peoria, Illinois 24.5% 43.9% 60.6%
Houston, Texas 24.5% 41.4% 55.4%
New York, New York 24.5% 39.5% 55.6%
Lowell, Massachusetts 24.3% 40.9% 56.7%
Salinas, California 24.2% 45.0% 60.5%
Columbus, Ohio 24.2% 40.0% 52.4%
Westminster, California 24.1% 38.2% 55.3%
Spokane, Washington 24.0% 40.5% 59.3%
Longview, Texas 23.9% 43.2% 58.3%
Santa Ana, California 23.9% 43.9% 58.8%
Boston, Massachusetts 23.9% 36.3% 48.9%
St. George, Utah 23.9% 43.1% 62.7%
Little Rock, Arkansas 23.9% 40.8% 55.4%
Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 23.8% 39.7% 52.8%
Jersey City, New Jersey 23.8% 38.5% 53.3%
Duluth, Minnesota 23.8% 39.2% 51.5%
Fayetteville, North Carolina 23.6% 41.5% 65.3%
Spring Hill, Florida 23.6% 38.1% 64.9%
St. Petersburg, Florida 23.5% 37.1% 54.3%
Town 'n' Country, Florida 23.5% 37.2% 53.0%
Oakland, California 23.5% 37.8% 53.1%
Warner Robins, Georgia 23.5% 44.7% 60.4%
Tempe, Arizona 23.5% 37.2% 50.2%
West Palm Beach, Florida 23.5% 36.4% 55.4%
Mesa, Arizona 23.5% 41.2% 56.7%
Portsmouth, Virginia 23.4% 40.2% 60.5%
Lynn, Massachusetts 23.3% 40.2% 53.5%
Asheville, North Carolina 23.3% 36.8% 51.2%
Corpus Christi, Texas 23.2% 41.0% 56.7%
Salt Lake City, Utah 23.2% 38.1% 50.9%
Paradise, Nevada 23.2% 38.1% 56.3%
Jonesboro, Arkansas 23.1% 41.4% 56.5%
Kennewick, Washington 23.1% 44.8% 58.8%
El Paso, Texas 23.0% 42.9% 61.1%
Davenport, Iowa 23.0% 42.1% 56.6%
Spokane Valley, Washington 23.0% 40.2% 59.5%
San Angelo, Texas 22.9% 41.3% 59.0%
North Charleston, South Carolina 22.9% 41.7% 57.1%
Palm Bay, Florida 22.9% 40.3% 61.8%
Baldwin Park, California 22.7% 40.0% 58.6%
Gresham, Oregon 22.7% 40.5% 55.2%
Long Beach, California 22.7% 39.6% 55.9%
Buena Park, California 22.7% 40.7% 59.4%
Beaumont, Texas 22.7% 43.6% 59.5%
Vista, California 22.6% 42.2% 56.1%
Green Bay, Wisconsin 22.5% 41.5% 53.6%
Minneapolis, Minnesota 22.4% 37.0% 47.2%
Orlando, Florida 22.4% 36.8% 50.5%
Garden Grove, California 22.3% 38.5% 55.8%
Kansas City, Missouri 22.3% 39.5% 53.2%
Cicero, Illinois 22.3% 43.4% 59.1%
Clearwater, Florida 22.2% 35.5% 55.0%
Madison, Wisconsin 22.1% 36.9% 47.8%
Salem, Oregon 22.1% 41.1% 57.4%
Menifee, California 22.1% 44.1% 65.1%
Fort Wayne, Indiana 22.0% 41.5% 55.8%
San Antonio, Texas 22.0% 40.6% 57.7%
Kenosha, Wisconsin 22.0% 41.1% 55.9%
Deltona, Florida 21.9% 38.9% 59.3%
Louisville/Jefferson County metro government, Kentucky 21.9% 39.3% 55.1%
Durham, North Carolina 21.9% 38.1% 51.4%
Cape Coral, Florida 21.9% 38.2% 59.3%
Reno, Nevada 21.9% 39.0% 54.5%
Richmond, California 21.8% 37.7% 56.0%
Palmdale, California 21.7% 43.9% 64.9%
Indio, California 21.7% 43.2% 60.4%
Greensboro, North Carolina 21.7% 38.7% 54.8%
Wichita, Kansas 21.6% 40.7% 55.2%
Nampa, Idaho 21.5% 46.9% 60.9%
Springdale, Arkansas 21.5% 42.5% 58.5%
Newport News, Virginia 21.5% 39.1% 57.5%
Pomona, California 21.5% 41.3% 60.4%
Norman, Oklahoma 21.4% 38.4% 52.4%
Fort Collins, Colorado 21.3% 38.0% 50.5%
Des Moines, Iowa 21.3% 39.1% 51.7%
Omaha, Nebraska 21.3% 40.1% 52.4%
Palm Coast, Florida 21.3% 36.6% 64.4%
Washington, District of Columbia 21.3% 34.8% 48.3%
Pasadena, California 21.3% 36.6% 51.2%
Las Vegas, Nevada 21.3% 39.8% 58.2%
Santa Barbara, California 21.3% 34.6% 46.5%
Greeley, Colorado 21.2% 44.3% 59.0%
Denton, Texas 21.1% 39.0% 53.0%
Oxnard, California 21.1% 41.9% 57.8%
Nashville-Davidson metropolitan government, Tennessee 21.1% 36.7% 49.7%
Miami Beach, Florida 21.1% 33.0% 45.8%
Amarillo, Texas 21.0% 42.4% 54.7%
Upland, California 21.0% 36.2% 55.2%
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 21.0% 40.7% 55.1%
Tacoma, Washington 21.0% 37.3% 56.6%
Jacksonville, Florida 20.9% 38.2% 55.5%
Deerfield Beach, Florida 20.9% 34.1% 50.1%
Hampton, Virginia 20.8% 37.0% 57.5%
Sioux City, Iowa 20.8% 41.4% 52.9%
Alhambra, California 20.7% 34.3% 53.4%
Manteca, California 20.6% 42.1% 64.4%
Abilene, Texas 20.5% 40.8% 57.3%
Scottsdale, Arizona 20.4% 32.8% 51.1%
Oceanside, California 20.3% 37.0% 55.9%
Escondido, California 20.3% 38.0% 55.5%
Baytown, Texas 20.3% 39.3% 56.8%
Jurupa Valley, California 20.3% 38.5% 60.4%
Bakersfield, California 20.3% 42.3% 59.5%
Urban Honolulu, Hawaii 20.2% 34.5% 50.1%
San Diego, California 20.1% 36.7% 53.8%
Santa Fe, New Mexico 20.1% 37.1% 53.7%
Mesquite, Texas 20.0% 41.2% 56.9%
Tustin, California 20.0% 38.8% 52.8%
South Gate, California 20.0% 40.5% 59.1%
Arlington, Texas 20.0% 39.9% 53.7%
Vallejo, California 20.0% 36.4% 58.2%
Lawton, Oklahoma 20.0% 40.6% 59.2%
Port St. Lucie, Florida 19.9% 38.3% 61.0%
Ontario, California 19.9% 41.4% 57.0%
Danbury, Connecticut 19.9% 34.8% 50.1%
Everett, Washington 19.8% 36.4% 52.6%
Portland, Oregon 19.8% 35.1% 50.0%
Spring Valley, Nevada 19.7% 36.0% 51.6%
Bend, Oregon 19.7% 38.1% 54.5%
Riverside, California 19.7% 38.1% 56.6%
Lincoln, Nebraska 19.7% 39.6% 50.1%
Bellflower, California 19.7% 42.3% 61.0%
Fort Worth, Texas 19.6% 41.6% 55.6%
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 19.6% 35.9% 52.1%
Orem, Utah 19.5% 42.8% 58.3%
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 19.5% 39.3% 49.1%
Denver, Colorado 19.4% 35.3% 48.4%
Boca Raton, Florida 19.4% 34.0% 51.3%
Pasadena, Texas 19.3% 42.6% 60.2%
Santa Rosa, California 19.3% 36.7% 52.7%
Fontana, California 19.2% 42.5% 59.6%
Rapid City, South Dakota 19.2% 38.3% 52.7%
Charlotte, North Carolina 19.2% 37.9% 51.9%
Raleigh, North Carolina 19.2% 36.9% 49.8%
Avondale, Arizona 19.1% 43.4% 57.5%
Glendale, California 19.1% 33.6% 53.8%
Southfield, Michigan 19.1% 36.9% 55.1%
Metairie, Louisiana 19.1% 33.8% 49.6%
Appleton, Wisconsin 19.0% 38.4% 52.3%
Manchester, New Hampshire 19.0% 35.2% 48.1%
Vancouver, Washington 18.9% 38.7% 54.9%
Murfreesboro, Tennessee 18.9% 38.0% 53.1%
North Las Vegas, Nevada 18.9% 40.2% 59.7%
Evanston, Illinois 18.9% 37.7% 51.0%
Rialto, California 18.9% 38.6% 60.6%
Anaheim, California 18.8% 37.9% 53.3%
Longmont, Colorado 18.7% 38.5% 53.7%
San Marcos, California 18.7% 40.7% 56.8%
New Rochelle, New York 18.7% 37.4% 52.1%
Suffolk, Virginia 18.6% 37.9% 55.9%
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 18.6% 38.2% 48.2%
Citrus Heights, California 18.6% 36.7% 57.4%
Fullerton, California 18.5% 36.6% 53.3%
Beaverton, Oregon 18.4% 35.8% 50.9%
Quincy, Massachusetts 18.4% 32.1% 45.8%
Silver Spring, Maryland 18.3% 36.5% 47.8%
Cheektowaga, New York 18.3% 34.1% 50.6%
Burbank, California 18.3% 37.6% 54.2%
Irvine, California 18.2% 37.0% 53.8%
Fargo, North Dakota 18.1% 36.7% 46.1%
Sterling Heights, Michigan 18.1% 33.8% 53.9%
Moreno Valley, California 18.0% 40.6% 59.7%
West Valley City, Utah 17.9% 41.2% 53.5%
Wyoming, Michigan 17.8% 39.7% 53.2%
San Francisco, California 17.8% 29.8% 44.0%
Meridian, Idaho 17.6% 43.2% 61.0%
Brandon, Florida 17.5% 34.7% 52.4%
Garland, Texas 17.4% 38.0% 52.6%
Sunrise, Florida 17.4% 35.7% 52.1%
Joliet, Illinois 17.4% 40.9% 54.0%
Cambridge, Massachusetts 17.4% 27.9% 39.2%
Clarksville, Tennessee 17.3% 38.6% 63.0%
Boise City, Idaho 17.2% 37.5% 52.1%
Rochester, Minnesota 17.1% 38.1% 50.6%
Orange, California 17.1% 35.3% 52.2%
Austin, Texas 17.1% 34.0% 46.3%
Colorado Springs, Colorado 17.1% 36.8% 55.1%
Bloomington, Minnesota 17.0% 33.7% 46.4%
Cranston, Rhode Island 17.0% 35.7% 51.4%
Federal Way, Washington 16.9% 36.3% 53.0%
Costa Mesa, California 16.9% 34.4% 47.2%
Irving, Texas 16.8% 37.8% 51.0%
Killeen, Texas 16.8% 41.5% 67.6%
Plantation, Florida 16.7% 35.4% 49.5%
Nashua, New Hampshire 16.7% 35.4% 47.9%
Parma, Ohio 16.7% 32.4% 49.0%
Antioch, California 16.6% 38.7% 58.1%
Daly City, California 16.6% 30.6% 47.7%
San Leandro, California 16.6% 32.4% 49.2%
Bloomington, Illinois 16.6% 36.9% 50.9%
Sparks, Nevada 16.5% 37.8% 55.8%
Aurora, Illinois 16.5% 41.1% 52.8%
Murrieta, California 16.4% 39.9% 60.2%
Charleston, South Carolina 16.3% 31.1% 46.9%
Norwalk, Connecticut 16.3% 31.3% 46.0%
San Buenaventura (Ventura), California 16.3% 35.8% 54.7%
Napa, California 16.3% 36.7% 50.4%
Concord, North Carolina 16.3% 40.2% 54.7%
Farmington Hills, Michigan 16.2% 35.5% 53.0%
Newport Beach, California 16.2% 33.7% 53.8%
Concord, California 16.1% 33.7% 51.1%
Kent, Washington 16.0% 36.4% 52.0%
Clifton, New Jersey 15.9% 34.1% 52.8%
Chino, California 15.9% 37.3% 54.0%
Seattle, Washington 15.9% 29.3% 42.1%
Huntington Beach, California 15.9% 33.6% 51.3%
Fairfield, California 15.9% 37.5% 58.1%
Davie, Florida 15.9% 31.4% 44.2%
Aurora, Colorado 15.8% 37.1% 51.4%
Grand Prairie, Texas 15.7% 37.4% 51.7%
Clovis, California 15.7% 36.5% 56.2%
Carson, California 15.6% 32.3% 53.3%
Hillsboro, Oregon 15.6% 35.7% 53.1%
Torrance, California 15.4% 33.9% 52.3%
Renton, Washington 15.4% 37.2% 51.5%
Surprise, Arizona 15.4% 40.6% 61.6%
Elgin, Illinois 15.4% 38.1% 53.6%
Chula Vista, California 15.2% 37.4% 56.7%
Roseville, California 15.2% 36.4% 55.3%
Norwalk, California 15.1% 34.1% 55.5%
Billings, Montana 15.1% 34.8% 48.1%
Lakewood, Colorado 15.1% 32.1% 46.3%
Vacaville, California 15.1% 35.8% 56.0%
Henderson, Nevada 15.1% 33.5% 54.3%
Odessa, Texas 15.0% 40.1% 54.0%
Hayward, California 14.8% 34.2% 52.8%
Whittier, California 14.6% 32.9% 52.1%
Miramar, Florida 14.6% 35.7% 52.5%
Arvada, Colorado 14.6% 33.5% 48.0%
Carrollton, Texas 14.5% 34.7% 49.3%
Chesapeake, Virginia 14.5% 34.9% 55.0%
Corona, California 14.5% 36.0% 53.4%
Somerville, Massachusetts 14.4% 22.3% 33.8%
Loveland, Colorado 14.3% 36.7% 54.7%
Sandy Springs, Georgia 14.2% 34.3% 48.6%
Santa Monica, California 14.2% 28.3% 44.1%
Redwood City, California 14.2% 33.3% 49.6%
Coral Springs, Florida 14.1% 36.4% 53.0%
Lake Forest, California 14.1% 33.3% 47.3%
West Covina, California 14.0% 32.8% 52.3%
Auburn, Washington 14.0% 32.6% 51.2%
Stamford, Connecticut 13.9% 33.6% 46.7%
San Jose, California 13.8% 34.5% 51.6%
Richardson, Texas 13.8% 34.8% 51.7%
Edmond, Oklahoma 13.8% 37.1% 53.1%
Livonia, Michigan 13.7% 30.9% 48.7%
San Tan Valley, Arizona 13.6% 42.8% 60.3%
Arlington Heights, Illinois 13.6% 32.8% 48.6%
Downey, California 13.5% 32.2% 51.6%
Bellevue, Washington 13.2% 32.3% 48.9%
Alameda, California 13.2% 31.1% 50.2%
Westminster, Colorado 13.2% 30.6% 48.0%
Rio Rancho, New Mexico 13.1% 36.1% 56.6%
Peoria, Arizona 13.1% 36.9% 55.2%
Toms River, New Jersey 13.1% 34.8% 52.5%
Goodyear, Arizona 12.9% 34.9% 55.2%
Alafaya, Florida 12.9% 33.5% 50.4%
Virginia Beach, Virginia 12.8% 33.0% 53.2%
Santa Clarita, California 12.8% 34.1% 51.0%
Pembroke Pines, Florida 12.7% 32.2% 48.7%
Sunnyvale, California 12.6% 32.9% 49.0%
Chandler, Arizona 12.6% 34.9% 49.7%
Rancho Cucamonga, California 12.6% 34.0% 53.2%
Lewisville, Texas 12.6% 34.8% 47.9%
Plano, Texas 12.5% 32.6% 48.3%
Kendall, Florida 12.5% 28.2% 45.8%
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma 12.4% 36.1% 49.8%
San Mateo, California 12.3% 31.8% 46.5%
Elk Grove, California 12.3% 36.2% 54.2%
Layton, Utah 12.2% 39.3% 53.9%
Milpitas, California 12.1% 33.6% 52.5%
Roswell, Georgia 12.1% 34.1% 46.8%
Mission Viejo, California 12.0% 29.0% 48.8%
Riverview, Florida 12.0% 38.2% 54.9%
Alexandria, Virginia 11.9% 27.7% 41.6%
Carlsbad, California 11.9% 33.0% 50.9%
Rochester Hills, Michigan 11.7% 34.1% 53.4%
Schaumburg, Illinois 11.6% 33.0% 47.0%
Tracy, California 11.6% 34.0% 51.8%
Warwick, Rhode Island 11.6% 29.1% 46.6%
Thornton, Colorado 11.5% 36.3% 49.6%
Anchorage, Alaska 11.5% 33.0% 50.3%
Santa Clara, California 11.4% 30.2% 45.5%
Troy, Michigan 11.3% 32.8% 52.2%
Newton, Massachusetts 11.3% 34.0% 48.8%
Columbia, Maryland 11.2% 33.5% 48.4%
Lee's Summit, Missouri 11.1% 36.9% 50.4%
Overland Park, Kansas 11.1% 32.8% 47.4%
Midland, Texas 11.0% 35.7% 48.8%
Plymouth, Minnesota 10.9% 33.6% 45.7%
Brooklyn Park, Minnesota 10.9% 35.9% 48.9%
Round Rock, Texas 10.9% 34.0% 47.8%
Hoover, Alabama 10.8% 35.4% 48.7%
Enterprise, Nevada 10.8% 31.4% 45.9%
League City, Texas 10.8% 31.3% 48.1%
Kirkland, Washington 10.8% 27.7% 46.1%
Lakewood, California 10.7% 31.2% 52.9%
West Jordan, Utah 10.5% 38.0% 51.1%
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 10.4% 35.1% 51.0%
Thousand Oaks, California 10.3% 32.1% 50.9%
Arlington, Virginia 10.1% 26.7% 38.3%
Union City, California 9.9% 27.9% 50.4%
Fremont, California 9.8% 31.4% 50.5%
Sandy, Utah 9.8% 35.8% 51.2%
The Woodlands, Texas 9.7% 37.8% 56.9%
Centennial, Colorado 9.7% 31.4% 46.5%
Carmel, Indiana 9.5% 34.7% 48.0%
Temecula, California 9.5% 35.3% 55.8%
San Ramon, California 9.4% 38.1% 54.7%
Livermore, California 9.4% 32.7% 47.1%
Simi Valley, California 9.3% 30.7% 48.8%
Atascocita, Texas 9.3% 35.4% 53.5%
Sugar Land, Texas 9.3% 29.9% 49.2%
Naperville, Illinois 9.2% 33.6% 49.8%
Pleasanton, California 9.2% 34.6% 52.0%
Olathe, Kansas 9.0% 36.7% 49.3%
McKinney, Texas 8.9% 37.0% 53.1%
Folsom, California 8.9% 32.0% 50.6%
Highlands Ranch, Colorado 8.5% 35.9% 48.3%
Germantown, Maryland 8.5% 32.2% 47.1%
Cary, North Carolina 8.3% 31.3% 47.0%
Chino Hills, California 8.2% 28.8% 49.0%
Gilbert, Arizona 8.2% 36.6% 51.2%
O'Fallon, Missouri 7.6% 34.4% 46.0%
Johns Creek, Georgia 7.5% 33.7% 53.2%
Mountain View, California 7.5% 28.7% 41.3%
Waldorf, Maryland 7.1% 32.9% 47.7%
Fishers, Indiana 6.4% 38.3% 48.1%
Allen, Texas 6.3% 33.7% 48.4%
Pearland, Texas 5.5% 32.8% 46.0%
Frisco, Texas 5.1% 36.8% 51.6%

SOURCE: Governing calculations of Census 2015 1-year ACS estimates for 500 largest cities. See note for methodology. Economically depressed cities, along with a few college towns, are characterized by exceptionally steep demographic hurdles. By contrast, the elderly and poor make up less than a tenth of the population in 30 other jurisdictions reviewed. Places where large portions of the population are both employed and earn more than the federal poverty rate include Somerville, Mass.; Arlington, Va.; and Cambridge, Mass.

But poor demographics don't necessarily spell doom for a local government’s tax base. For one, strong economies help overcome demographic disadvantages in many cities.

Cities can also prosper under more-favorable revenue structures or those that incorporate greater revenue sharing with the state or other local jurisdictions. Inman contends that efforts like regional funding for poverty obligations or increased state aid can help overcome cities’ demographic woes.

“This burden should not fall entirely on the budgets of the cities,” he said.

Revenue sharing takes many different forms. Allegheny County, Pa., provides poverty services for Pittsburgh and other localities within the county, for example. Inman also cited the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., region, which shares a portion of new commercial property tax revenue among its local governments. 

By and large, though, such polices remain relatively rare. Given the political realities involved with convincing voters in better-off suburbs to share their taxpayer dollars with larger cities, that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

Data notes

Percentages for the first measure represent each jurisdiction’s share of the total population (for whom the poverty status was determined) living in poverty plus the share of residents age 75 and over not living in poverty. The alternative measure represents the total population share (for whom the poverty status was determined) not employed or not reporting income in the past 12 months at or above the poverty level. Data are one-year estimates with larger margins of error for smaller jurisdictions. Estimates are shown for the 500 most populous Census-designated places.