More poor kids in more poor places, study finds

October 18, 2011

Persistent high poverty is most prevalent among children, with those living in rural America disproportionally impacted, according to researchers from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire.

"Nearly 22 percent of America's children live in poverty, compared with 14 percent of the total population. Poverty is scattered and geographically concentrated, and it ebbs and flows with economic cycles. However, in some parts of the country, poverty has persisted for ," the researchers said.

Areas with persistent high are defined as places where child have been greater than 20 percent at the start of each decade since 1980.

The key findings include:

  • Between 1980 and 2009, 706 U.S. counties (23 percent) experienced persistent high child poverty. Only half as many counties had persistent high poverty across ages.
  • Since the onset of the , poverty levels in these persistent child poverty counties have sharply increased. Prior to the recession, 61 percent of persistent child poverty counties had more than 30 percent of children living in poverty. Now, it is 68 percent.
  • Counties with persistent child poverty are disproportionately concentrated in rural areas; 81 percent of such counties are nonmetropolitan while only 65 percent of all U.S. counties are nonmetropolitan.
  • Overall, 26 percent of the rural resides in counties whose poverty rates have been persistently high. This compares with 12 percent of the children in .
  • Counties with persistent child poverty cluster in Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta, other areas of the Southeast, parts of the Southwest, and in the Great Plains.
The researchers found that high child poverty is evident in the Southeast, particularly in the and in the Atlantic coastal plain. Poverty levels are also high in the central Appalachian coalfields and in the Ozarks. Additional child poverty hot spots exist in the Southwest along the Rio Grande and in Texas–New Mexico. Although child poverty is generally limited on the , a pocket of high child poverty is apparent in the Native American regions of the Dakotas. In contrast, there are far fewer occurrences of high child poverty in the Northeast and Midwest.

"The problems that all poor people struggle with are often exacerbated by the isolation and lack of support services in ," the researchers said.

The research was conducted by Beth Mattingly, director of research on vulnerable families at the Carsey Institute and research assistant professor of sociology at UNH; Ken Johnson, senior demographer at the Carsey Institute and a professor of sociology at UNH; and Andrew Schaefer, a doctoral student in sociology at UNH and research assistant at the Carsey Institute.

This analysis is based upon decennial census data from 1980, 1990, and 2000, as well as American Community Survey five-year estimates (ACS) released in 2009. "High" child poverty is 20 percent or more of the children living in poverty in a county. "Persistent" poverty is high poverty rates in three consecutive decades: 1980, 1990, 2000, as well as 2009. Demographic data for each county are from the U.S. Census Bureau's "U.S.A. Counties Data Files." The complete Carsey Institute report about this research is available at

Explore further: One million more children living in poverty since 2009, new census data released today shows

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1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 18, 2011
I wonder has anyone studied the correlation between rewarding poverty (and also punishing work) with the number of children in poverty?
1 / 5 (5) Oct 18, 2011
Well said. Humans, though well intentioned, are often ignorant in their approach to solving these problems. Giving poor people food and shelter helps the symptom but only perpetuates the problem...
1 / 5 (4) Oct 18, 2011
Truth hurts Mr. one rater...

Bleeding hearts who think with the wrong organ cause more suffering than they prevent.
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 19, 2011
"I wonder has anyone studied the correlation between rewarding poverty with the number of children in poverty?" - LVTard

We do know that the number of children living in Poverty rises with every Republican president in the White House.

Isn't that correlation good enough for you?
1 / 5 (4) Oct 19, 2011
Look at all the idiots rating me with 1's who want to feed the starving deer, only to find twice as many that must be fed the next year, and twice as many more the following... of course eventually you run out of the ability to feed them and they suffer mass starvation due to you propping up the population to unsustainable levels.

Give me all the 1's you want it's only evidence of your ignorance... I want to cure the problem, you want to treat the symptom while simultaneously making the problem worse.
Oct 19, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
1 / 5 (2) Oct 19, 2011
It's no wonder when you measure relative wealth instead of "poverty"

Republicans help people create wealth, Democrats help people take other peoples wealth.
1 / 5 (2) Oct 19, 2011
"Republicans help people create wealth.." - LVTard

Borrow and spend Republican Economic policies have bankrupted America.

Libertarian ideology sits at the root of those nation bankrupting, wealth destroying, Republican policies.

not rated yet Oct 20, 2011
How many conservatives does it take to end child poverty?
-Trick question! heheheh. We all know conservatives can't end child poverty. After all, to end child poverty, you'd have to give or "reward" the poor people stuff for free (like money, or food, or credits for gas so they could afford to drive their kids to school, pay rent, and eat -while still taking care of medical expenses that often occur because they haven't been well educated or well-trained in maintaining certain health practices -or they haven't had a previous opportunity to pay for help for their current physical ailments) --and giving poor people stuff for free (sorry, "rewarding them for being poor") is socialism. And socialism is always bad. That's just plain logic that anyone can understand by watching Fox 'News'.

1 / 5 (2) Oct 20, 2011

Giving poor people money is not the solution you dolts. Poverty is a symptom, the problem runs much deeper and in several directions.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 21, 2011
Hey, here's an idea, if you disagree with me state why, that way we can actually communicate with each other rather than cowardly hiding behind the rating system.

If someone doesn't want to put effort into their life to do well in school and make good choices so that they don't become a fuckup then they deserve to live in poverty. The problem is that people are fuckups, not that people are poor. The problem is poor attitudes toward education leading to stupidity and stupid decisions that then lead to drug addiction or incarceration. No decent person that can present himself well and hold his head high and be proud of himself and his work is in poverty.... the people in poverty deserve to be there as a natural consequence of poor decisions, and we should address the factors that lead people to make these poor decisions, not throw money at fuckups. Sure, these people's children are innocent victims that should be helped, but there are better ways than supplying drug money to their paren
not rated yet Oct 23, 2011
" More poor kids in more poor places, study finds "

Who wrote this, Captain Obvious ?

Lemme try this:

" Researchers find toilets located in restrooms more than any other location, completely dumbfounded "

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