The Brookings Institution (search) study, using Census data, puts New Orleans at number two, followed by Louisville, Kentucky; Miami, and Atlanta.
In such areas, 40 percent of residents or more are below the poverty line. Forty percent of adults are unemployed and not looking for work. The pockets also have high crime, and lack quality housing, jobs and schools.
The conditions are said to ensnare each generation, because children lack funds, role models and the education footing to get them into college. The erosion to city tax bases also limits funds needed to address problems including the lack of affordable housing.