The Pittsburgh Neighborhood Disadvantage Map:

Welcome to The Pittsburgh Neighborhood Project’s Pittsburgh Neighborhood Disadvantage Map or PNDM.

Place matters in determining a variety of long-term outcomes for children and The Pittsburgh Neighborhood Project’s mission is to educate Pittsburghers on the causes, consequences and persistence of neighborhood level poverty, disadvantage, advantage and racial segregation over long stretches of time. Place matters because race matters and our neighborhoods were segregated by design.

Our map can be accessed here and is a tool to help users understand the connection between place, race, advantage, and disadvantage in City of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Our majority White neighborhoods tend to be advantaged areas that are well connected to opportunity (with exceptions) while our majority Black neighborhoods face steep challenges and disadvantages and are not connected to the same opportunity.

By “disadvantage” we mean the collection of entrenched challenges, stressors (risk factors) and unequal conditions that some people are born into that are beyond their control, limit their opportunity and cause a a wide range of adverse outcomes. By “advantage” we mean the collection of sustained privileges, protective factors and favorable conditions that other people are born into that are beyond their control, expand their opportunity and facilitate a wide range of positive outcomes. Urban sociologists often refer to place-based disadvantage as concentrated disadvantage.

In this context, we specifically define disadvantage as an index comprised of the following variables: 1) percent of families living below the federal poverty line 2) percent of single mothers 3) percent of men ages 20-64 unemployed or unattached to the labor force 4) percent of those ages 25 and up without a Bachelor’s or more 5) rate of gun shots reported/fired per 500 people and 6) average adult income rank for children born to parents at the 25th percentile of the income distribution from 1978-1983.

The map contains an about section, detailed mapping methodology and a brief county level racial analysis, in addition to information on a variety of neighborhood level data points included and not included in our disadvantage index.