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

The poverty rate grew in 30% of counties between 2016 and 2018, according to a Stateline analysis of U.S. Census Bureau county estimates released this month. The poverty rate is the percentage of people in households earning less than the poverty threshold, currently $25,750 for a family of four.

While the overall poverty rate dropped between 2016 and 2018, from 13% to 12%, states varied widely. In New Jersey and Rhode Island, the poverty rate grew in only one county, compared with 83 in Texas.

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.

Huffpost