WHER Chat: Majority of States with Highest Poverty Rates are in the South

The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey one-year estimates reveal that the national poverty rate was 11.8 percent in 2018, a decrease from 12.3 percent in 2017. Fourteen states had a poverty decline, while Connecticut was the only state to have an increase during the same time period. Seven states had poverty rates lower than 10 percent in 2018, but other states have the highest poverty rates up to 19.7 percent. Read more for a list of the states with the highest poverty rates. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 20 percent of the nation’s population is living below the poverty line, depending on family size and the age of the householder. Below is a list of the ten states with the highest poverty rates in 2018. Topping the list is Mississippi with a poverty rate of 19.7 percent. 

States with the Highest Poverty Rates

  1. Mississippi; Poverty rate: 19.7%
  2. New Mexico; Poverty rate: 19.5%
  3. Louisiana; Poverty rate: 18.6%
  4. West Virginia; Poverty rate: 17.8%
  5. Arkansas; Poverty rate: 17.2%
  6. Kentucky; Poverty rate: 16.9%
  7. Alabama; Poverty rate: 16.8%
  8. Oklahoma; Poverty rate: 15.6%
  9. (Tie) South Carolina; Poverty rate: 15.3%
  10. (Tie) Tennessee; Poverty rate: 15.3%

Volume II: Homeownership of the 2019 NAWRB Women in the Housing Ecosystem Report (WHER) gives detailed analysis on income and poverty in the United States based on findings by the U.S. Census Bureau. Below is an excerpt from this volume on trends we are seeing in poverty rates, and how differences vary by educational attainment, householder characteristics, race and gender. 

“The  number of people in poverty decreased for many groups, including people in families; people in the West; people living outside metropolitan statistical areas; workers, including those who worked less than full-time, year-round; people with only a high school diploma; and those with some college but no college degree. 

In terms of family households, 12.4 percent of families with a single male householder were below the poverty level. In comparison, 25.7 percent of families with a single female householder with no husband present were below the poverty level in 2017. Female householders have 40.8 percent of children under 18 years old in poverty and 48.4 percent of children under 6 years of age in poverty. 

In terms of gender and racial differences, 15.9 percent of women are below the poverty level compared to 13.3 percent of men. Twelve percent of whites were below the poverty level, compared to 25.5 percent of blacks or African Americans; 26.8 percent of American Indian and Alaskan Native; 22 percent of Hispanics (any race); 19 percent of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders; and 11 percent of Asians.”

See the full post on this topic here. Is there a correlation between the trends and the states with the highest poverty rates? Let us know what you think in the comments!

About 2019 NAWRB WHER

The 2019 NAWRB Women Housing Ecosystem Report (WHER) is the third installment of the most diverse coverage of the Housing Ecosystem with over sixty resources in six volumes: Diversity & Inclusion, Homeownership, Women-Owned Businesses, STEM, Aging Population, and Family Offices with a gender lens perspective. Learn more about each of the volumes and order a copy of the 2019 NAWRB WHER at https://www.nawrb.com/womenhousingecosystem/.

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