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MPDG - Areas of Persistent Poverty and Historically Disadvantaged Communities

Areas of Persistent Poverty

To determine if a project is located in an area of persistent poverty for the purpose of a grant application, please reference either: 

1. List of Areas of Persistent Poverty by Census Tract and County

2. Grant Location Verification map.

An “Area of Persistent Poverty” is defined by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. A project is located in an Area of Persistent Poverty if:

  1. the County in which the project is located consistently had greater than or equal to 20 percent of the population living in poverty in all three of the following datasets: (a) the 1990 decennial census; (b) the 2000 decennial census; and (c) the most recent (2021) Small Area Income Poverty Estimates; OR
  2. the Census Tract in which the project is located has a poverty rate of at least 20 percent as measured by the 2014-2018 5-year data series available from the American Community Survey of the Bureau of the Census; OR
  3. the project is located in any territory or possession of the United States.

Historically Disadvantaged Community

"Historically Disadvantaged Community" is defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)’s Interim Guidance for the Justice40 Initiative and the 2023 Addendum to this Guidance. Specifically, a project is located in a Historically Disadvantaged Community if:

  1. the project is located in certain qualifying census tracts that are identified as "disadvantaged" in this Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool; OR
  2. the project is located on Tribal land.

How to use RAISE Mapping Tool:

  1. Access the Mapping Tool at: https://maps.dot.gov/BTS/GrantProjectLocationVerification/
  2. Locate the project location by searching or zooming. Utilize the "+" and "-" BUTTONS in the upper left-hand to fit the full project scope within the display area.
  3. Ensure all layers are active by checking the boxes via the LAYER LIST tab in the upper right-hand corner. Layers are zoom-dependent. If the label is greyed out in the legend, the layer is not showing on the map because it is not zoomed in far enough.
  4. Refer to the LEGEND and/or the LAYER LIST tab in the upper right-hand corner to understand the color shading and designations for your project area.
  5. The BASEMAP GALLERY tab in the upper right-hand corner provides viewing options including satellite imagery, terrain and topographical reference information, if needed.

Last update: Area of Persistent Poverty Counties were updated based on the 2021 SAIPE data in Winter 2023. Historically Disadvantaged Communities were updated in June 2023 based on OMB guidance.