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Interactive: 32 Percent Of Dallas Population Lives In A ‘Distressed’ Community


Five stories that have North Texas talking: Dallas qualifies as a "distressed community"; Texas colleges can hold their own in the tech industry; a Fort Worth father planted a razor blade in his kid's Rice Krispies; and more.

The Economic Innovation Group released The Distressed Communities Index, which reveals data on the population of U.S. cities still struggling six years after the major economic recession.


The data is organized in several ways — first by major cities and then the many zip codes within those cities followed by states and counties and congressional districts. Each city and zip code is given a Distress Score and ranking.


The group measures distress on these seven districts:

  • Educational Attainment
  • Housing Vacancy Rate
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Poverty Level
  • Median Income Ratio
  • Change in Employment
  • Change in Business Establishments

Let’s take Texas. Fourteen percent of the population lives in “distressed” zip codes. Overall, the state has a rank of 16 out of the 50 states plus Washington D.C. Dallas falls in the mid-range level at 32 percent, but that means 296,000 residents in Dallas have a low economic well-being based on the seven metrics measured.

Explore the Economic Innovation Group's interactive database to learn which zip codes within major Texas cities, like Dallas, Houston and Austin as well as smaller surrounding North Texas cities like Plano and Irving qualify as distressed communities.


  • How well do you know Dallas? Test yourself with this list. Mental Floss compiled 25 facts that may not all be known be even the most die-hard Dallasite. Did you know Dallas is the birthplace of the frozen margarita? The man behind German Chocolate Cake was a Texan? DFW Airport is bigger than the island of Manhattan? Comb through the other 22 fun facts to get to know Dallas’ strange side. You might just be armed with that winning answer on trivia night.

  • Four Texas colleges have placed more students into tech jobs than Stanford. Bloomberg released its 2015 business schools rankings, which revealed technology becoming one of the top industries, catching up to banking and consulting, for “B-school graduates.” The Dallas Morning News reported: “University of Texas at Dallas, Texas Christian University, Texas A&M and the University of Texas at Austin — all graduated a higher share of MBAs who went into tech than Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. All four schools placed 28 percent or more of their grads in tech jobs, compared with Stanford’s 19 percent.” Another noteworthy ranking: Rice University in Houston made the Top 20 for best full-time MBA programs in the country. [Dallas Morning News]

  • A Dallas-based auction house purchased an autographed manuscript written by President Abraham Lincoln. Heritage Auctions bought the document containing a passage from Lincoln’s second inaugural address, given just weeks before his assassination. It sold for more than $2.2 million — more than twice its pre-sale estimate — at a New York City auction. The Associated Press reported Thursday: “Lincoln's second inaugural address in early March 1865 contained the now famous-phrase, ‘With malice toward none; with charity for all.’ He wrote out his speech's final passage in 13 lines of text and signed it for the 10-year-old son of John Palmer Usher, a cabinet member. The document remained in the Usher family, which put it up for auction.” [Associated Press]

  • The Fort Worth father that claimed he found a razor blade in his child’s Halloween candy lied. After receiving evidence contrary to the father’s story this week, Fort Worth Police determined it was a hoax. It also helped the investigation when the father acknowledged that he placed the razor blade in the store-bought Rice Krispies treat himself. The man will be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor for filing a false report with no other arrests expected. [Star-Telegram]