The Toll of Persistent Poverty

If your total income is deemed insufficient to purchase basic food, shelter, clothing and essential services, then you would be classified by the U.S. Census Bureau as “impoverished” – and you would not be alone.

Approximately 11% of counties in America are defined as “persistently poor” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (ERS), meaning that over 20% of their population has been living in poverty for the past 30 years. Over 85% of these persistently poor counties are regionally concentrated in the South. In these high-poverty counties, ERS reports that three quarters of the poor are …read more