Poverty Project

Tucson’s poverty levels are among the highest in the nation.

In 2012, our city's poverty rate was 26.7 percent, making us the eighth highest among large metropolitan areas. For children younger than 18, it was even worse - more than 1 out of 3 of our kids (38 percent) were found to be living in poverty.  

In 2012, the University of Arizona and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences partnered with Mayor Jonathan Rothschild’s Poverty Commission to produce a report that would help the commission develop programs and policies to reduce poverty in Tucson.  The Mayor's Commission Report was produced by faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students .

Poverty in Tucson Project

In the aftermath of the report, Brian Mayer, an associate professor, created the Poverty in Tucson Field Workshop. The Spring semester course involves undergrads in a scientific inquiry into problems related to poverty. The goal is to observe about 300 Tucson households for five years to provide a unique opportunity to collect a comprehensive dataset on living conditions in Tucson.  

The Powerpoint presentation from the 2017 Annual Community Forum on Tucson Poverty can be found here.