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RC logo -red R bCultivating Economic Prosperity and Eliminating Concentrated Poverty in Ramsey County

In January 2013, the Board of Commissioners set a new goal to cultivate economic prosperity and eliminate concentrated poverty throughout the county.  Ramsey County is the most diverse county in the region, and it is in a unique position to lead efforts that cultivate prosperity opportunities for everyone.

Ramsey County has the highest proportion of concentrated areas of financial poverty in the region, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  While many of these neighborhoods are located in Saint Paul, areas of concentrated poverty also extend into the Ramsey County suburbs, meaning that the entire community stands to benefit from focused work to build opportunity.  Not only do concentrated areas of poverty create unique challenges for the people living within them, research indicates that they also decrease nearby economic growth and community connectivity.

Additionally, census data indicates that Ramsey County is and will remain significantly more diverse than the region overall.  Currently, 34% of Ramsey County residents are people of color, compared to 24% of the population in the seven-county metropolitan area.  By 2030, this figure is expected to grow to nearly 50% of the Ramsey County population, while the regional average will likely only grow to 34%.  As a result, any ongoing race-based disparities will have a greater impact in Ramsey County than in any other county in the region, making the county’s economic prosperity work even more important.

In March 2014, Ramsey County outlined a bold strategic plan to cultivate economic prosperity and eliminate concentrated poverty.  The strategic plan addresses structures, processes and programs across all county departments in a holistic attempt to provide opportunities for greater prosperity for all residents.

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Pioneer Press editorial
April 23, 2014

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“Ramsey County plan spurs 11-point plan”
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