Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Poverty in North Carolina - getting worse, not better

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Sleeping on Tryon Street
  • James Willamor
  • Sleeping on Tryon Street in Charlotte"

I think we already knew this, especially since many of us are feeling it:

A brief released last week by the NC Budget and Tax Center shows that the prolonged weak recovery is crippling the economy and creating economic distress for working families in NC. The state poverty rate ($22,314 for a family of four) climbed to 17.5 percent in 2010, a 22 percent increase since 2007 when the Great Recession began.

But there was more to the data released last week than state level numbers. The US Census Bureau also provided poverty levels and household income for areas with at least 65,000 people. There are 39 counties in NC that fit this criterion.** County-level poverty rates in NC ranged from 7.8 percent in Union County to 31.1 percent in Robeson County. 1 county had a poverty rate less than 10 percent, 16 counties had rates ranging from 10 percent to 17.5 percent (the state rate), and 22 counties had rates above 17.5 percent.

Poverty disproportionately impacted certain geographic communities in NC. The poverty rate in urban counties in the state was 19.1 percent, 3.7 percentage points higher than rural poverty rate of 15.4%. Yet, the more rural counties in the state had some of the highest poverty rates.

In line with national trends, deep poverty— which corresponds to an income of $11,157 for a family of four—rose in 27 of the 37 counties for which data is available from 2007 to 2010. 15 counties had a deep poverty rate above the state figure of 7.8 percent, and 10 counties suffered a higher change in the deep poverty rate compared to the state increase of 1.8 percentage points.

Read the rest of this Progressive Pulse (a NC Policy Watch blog) post, by Tazra Mitchell, here.

Further reading: Accounting gimmicks or not, someone has to pay (and corporations should)The Mountaineer

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