The energetic, fast-growing economy in Central Texas is a source of local pride. Estimates released last week by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis show the Austin-area gross domestic product reached $98.7 billion last year and is on track to surpass $100 billion this year.
Despite this economic success, poverty remains a stubborn and concerning fact of life in Central Texas, harming the health, education and futures of tens of thousands of individuals. From 2011 to 2012, the percentage of residents in the five-county Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos metro area living in poverty increased to 15.5 percent, according to Census Bureau figures also released last week. In Austin, 1 in 5 residents lived in poverty in 2012.
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