Sunday, December 22, 2019

Poverty Grew In One-Third Of U.S. Counties Despite Strong National Economy

12/19/2019 05:54 pm ET
By Tim Henderson

Despite an economic recovery that lifted people out of poverty in most areas of the country, poverty increased in at least one county in every state between 2016 and 2018.


The counties with the biggest jumps in poverty ranged across the political and demographic spectrum: from 97% white and solidly Republican-voting Carter County in Kentucky to black-majority, Democratic Bullock County in Alabama.

Most of the biggest increases were in areas both rural and Southern. Those areas generally had residents who lacked job training and skills and industries that suffered downturns.

For many counties, rising poverty rates underscore the importance of fully counting residents in next year’s census, since a count of low-income residents will help determine funding available to help them.

Alabama, where poverty grew in 27 of 67 counties, named a rural development manager in August to help create jobs in rural areas, a move that Bullock County welcomed, said David Padgett, the county’s economic developer.


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