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News from EPI Weak economic recovery reflected in high state-level poverty and child poverty rates

For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 22, 2011
Contact
: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner,
news@epi.org 202-775-8810

 

 

Weak economic recovery reflected in high state-level poverty and child poverty rates

 

New American Community Survey (ACS) poverty data for 2010 released today by the US Census Bureau paint a painful picture of families paying the price for an economic recovery that has left far too many of them behind.  The combined impact of high unemployment and declining wages has resulted in a national poverty rate of 15.1% (as determined by the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, released last week).  Today’s state-level data release tells us that poverty rates range from 8.3% in New Hampshire to 22.4% in Mississippi. 

 

And while overall poverty rates are alarming, child poverty rates tell the tale of a wealthy nation that seems content to leave a significant portion of its children behind.  Nearly one in three children in Mississippi (32.5%), the District of Columbia (30.4%), and New Mexico (30.0%) lived in poverty in 2010, and in nearly half of the states more than one in five children lived in poverty last year.  Unless and until national and state policy makers work together to put Americans back to work and to aggressively redouble efforts to reduce poverty, we will continue to see poverty and child poverty rates that highlight persistent inequalities in this wealthy nation.

 

Poverty and child poverty rates by state

 

 

Population for whom poverty status is determined

Children (Under 18) for whom poverty status is determined

 
 
  # Below Poverty % Below Poverty # Below Poverty % Below Poverty
United States      46,215,956

15.3

      15,749,129

21.6

Alabama            888,290

19

            310,590

27.7

Alaska              69,279

9.9

              23,773

12.9

Arizona        1,094,249

17.4

            392,229

24.4

Arkansas            534,898

18.8

            193,081

27.6

California        5,783,043

15.8

        2,012,585

22

Colorado            659,786

13.4

            210,532

17.4

Connecticut            350,145

10.1

            103,498

12.8

Delaware            103,427

11.8

              36,655

18.1

DC            109,423

19.2

              30,555

30.4

Florida        3,047,343

16.5

            923,963

23.5

Georgia        1,688,932

17.9

            610,722

24.8

Hawaii            142,185

10.7

              41,230

13.9

Idaho            242,272

15.7

              80,316

19

Illinois        1,731,711

13.8

            600,045

19.4

Indiana            962,775

15.3

            342,172

21.7

Iowa            370,507

12.6

            115,365

16.3

Kansas            377,530

13.6

            131,258

18.4

Kentucky            800,226

19

            262,760

26.3

Louisiana            825,144

18.7

            299,779

27.3

Maine            167,242

12.9

              47,727

17.8

Maryland            557,140

9.9

            173,113

13

Massachusetts            725,143

11.4

            200,817

14.3

Michigan        1,618,257

16.8

            538,649

23.5

Minnesota            599,516

11.6

            192,437

15.2

Mississippi            643,883

22.4

            241,595

32.5

Missouri            888,570

15.3

            290,959

20.9

Montana            140,969

14.6

              43,818

20.1

Nebraska            229,923

12.9

              81,952

18.2

Nevada            398,027

14.9

            144,204

22

New Hampshire            105,786

8.3

              28,315

10

New Jersey            884,789

10.3

            295,346

14.5

New Mexico            413,851

20.4

            153,558

30

New York        2,821,470

14.9

            900,626

21.2

North Carolina        1,627,602

17.5

            559,875

24.9

North Dakota              84,895

13

              24,116

16.2

Ohio        1,779,032

15.8

            623,852

23.3

Oklahoma            616,610

16.9

            226,679

24.7

Oregon            596,408

15.8

            183,859

21.6

Pennsylvania        1,648,184

13.4

            522,189

19.1

Rhode Island            142,188

14

              42,221

19

South Carolina            815,755

18.2

            277,722

26.1

South Dakota            113,760

14.4

              35,960

18.2

Tennessee        1,095,466

17.7

            377,066

25.7

Texas        4,414,481

17.9

        1,751,189

25.7

Utah            359,242

13.2

            135,565

15.7

Vermont              76,352

12.7

              21,143

16.7

Virginia            861,969

11.1

            264,601

14.5

Washington            888,718

13.4

            284,045

18.2

West Virginia            326,507

18.1

              95,744

25.5

Wisconsin            731,479

13.2

            249,826

19.1

Wyoming              61,577

11.2

              19,253

14.3

Source: US Census Bureau, American Community Survey, Table S1701 Poverty Status in the Past 12 Months.


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