Friday, March 14, 2014

Report finds that 26.7 percent of rural children live in poverty, 12.2 percent in deep poverty

The rural poverty rate is the highest since the mid 1980s, according to a report by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The report points to the recent recession for the high poverty rate, stating "as with the early 1980s recession, rural children have been disproportionately affected by the recent economic downturn. Child poverty is more sensitive to labor market conditions than overall poverty, as children depend on the earnings of their parents."

In 2012 the rural poverty rate was 17.8 percent, and the rural child poverty rate was 26.7 percent, numbers similar to peak numbers from 1986, the report found. Meanwhile, urban poverty rates are down. Deep poverty, defined as having cash income below half of one’s poverty threshold, is higher in rural areas, with 12.2 percent of rural children living in deep poverty, compared to 9.2 percent in urban areas. Deep poverty has also spread. While it was mostly concentrated in the South in the 1980s, it is now also more common throughout the country. To read the full report click here. (ERS graphic)

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