Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Poverty rates remain higher in rural areas, but rose more slowly in 2007-2011 than in urban counties

The percentage of rural people living in poverty increased to 18.3 percent in 2011, up from 15.8 percent in 2007, according to Census Bureau data. Poverty increased faster in urban counties, but poverty rates in rural counties remained higher than in cities and "exurbs," areas in metropolitan regions where about half or more of residents live in rural settings, reports Bill Bishop of the Daily Yonder.
The Yonder map above (click on it for a larger version) shows the change in rural poverty rates from 2007 to 2011. Rates in red counties rose by more than 5 percentage points (252 counties), orange rose by 3 to 5 points (527), green rose by less than 2.9 percent (1,320), and purple counties' rates remained the same or declined (449).

The poverty rate rose by 2.9 percentage points nationally from 2007 to 2011, from 12.9 to 15.9 percent. "In absolute numbers, there were 10.4 million more people living in poverty in 2011, rising from about 38 million to about 48.3 million," Bishop notes. The number of rural poor increased to about 9 million people in 2011. (Read more)

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