Lyndonville, Vermont compared to Boston in size, location and popularity of the city is extremely different. Boston is an international metropolis; on the contrary, Lyndonville is a small town in a rural place.
I lived in Lyndonville for two years for school. This is a peaceful small town. The residents there were all very friendly and easy going. Because the pace of life was comparatively slow to Boston, Lyndonville could be a proper place for retired residents. There was not diversity at all. Ninety-six point five percent of residents in there in 2017 were white people based on the United States Census Bureau. Thus, I assumed that Lyndonville would be a middle-class white community with an older median age and a lower poverty rate than Boston. Surprisingly, the result of the data information didn’t match my expectation.
According to DataUSA, the median age of Lyndonville was 26.9 in 2016, which was lower than Boston’s 32.1. What’s more, Boston’s poverty rate was 21% in 2016, which was lower than Lyndonville’s 30.6%.
(DataUSA: basic data information comparison)
Why did this rural and assumed retirement community have a younger median age than Boston? And why did this middle-class white community have a higher poverty rate than Boston, where there is higher diversity?
Checking the United States Census Bureau for Lyndonville and Boston, we can see that Lyndonville had a higher rate of younger ages (under 18) and a lower rate of elder ages (over 65), and Boston was in an opposite condition. Thus, these elements can impact the median ages of these two places. Also, Lyndonville’s population is so much lower than Boston’s, so it is not weird that Boston’s median age was higher than Lyndonville’s.
Based on chapter 5 of the book Poverty in America: A Handbook, economic processes affect poverty. We can see that, from DataUSA, comparing the wage of median household income, Lyndonville’s statistic was lower than national wage of median household income (46.3%), and lower than the state’s wage of median household income (47.1%).
The index of Boston’s wage of median household income was 9.43% higher than the national wage of median household income.
Comparing with Lyndonville and Boston directly, Boston’s wage of median household income was 53.3% higher than Lyndonville. This was a giant gap.
(DataUSA: wages’ comparison, median household incomes of Lyndonville, Boston and the United States)
Thus we can say that Lyndonville’s economy was not optimistic, and it largely impacted the poverty rate.
Causes of Poverty
The reasons that caused Lyndonville’s stagnant economy were simplified industries that lack competition. According to DataUSA’s statistics, the top three occupations in 2016 for Lyndonville were food serving (23.6%), personal care and service (18.3%) and cleaning maintenance (8.6%). They all belong to the service industry, and service belongs to the lowest median yearly earning group.
(DataUSA: Lyndonville’s employment proportion graphic)
Let’s take a look at Boston. The top three industries in Boston in 2016 were management (12.2%), administrative (11.7%) and business financial (8%). These occupations were all belong to the management, business, science and arts industry, which belongs to the highest median yearly earning group.
(DataUSA: Boston’s employment proportion graphic)
Thus, even Boston’s social stratification, race, ethnicity, gender, and culture, another impacted element of poverty based on Chapter 5 was so much complicated than Lyndonville, the income was still the main cause to influence the poverty rates in these two places.
(DataUSA: Lyndonville vs. Boston in wage distribution)
In conclusion, it is really interesting to dig in-depth based on these databases, and the statistics’results match my personal observations. Boston has many higher-level academic institutions, and can offer Boston more talents in wider industries than Lyndonville to do some higher-incomes’ works. On the other hand, Lyndonville is in a rural area and has a simplified life environment compared to Boston.