Garret County, Maryland, Head StartChild poverty rates increased in rural America during the first six years of the century even as poverty rates nationally declined.

"> The Percentage of Rural Children Living In Poverty Rises - Daily Yonder

The Percentage of Rural Children Living In Poverty Rises

Garret County, Maryland, Head StartChild poverty rates increased in rural America during the first six years of the century even as poverty rates nationally declined.

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Garret County, Maryland, Head StartCindy Stork of the Oakland Head Start in Garret County, Maryland, greets her students.
Photo: Kainaz Amaria

Most states saw an increase in the percentage of rural children living in poverty during the first years of this century, according to a report issued by University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute.

In 2000, 19 percent of children living in rural counties lived in poverty. By 2006, according to data released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau, 22 percent of rural children lived in families that had incomes that placed them in poverty. Texas has the most children living in poverty, Connecticut the fewest.

Nationally, the overall poverty rate for all Americans decreased between 2005 and 2006, the first time that’s happened this decade.

Rural Child Poverty by region 2006 Mississippi had the highest percentage of rural children living in poverty — more than a third of those under 18 years of age living outside metropolitan regions. Five states — Ohio, Indiana, Maine, Tennessee, and South Carolina — showed increases of five percentage points or more in rural child poverty rate between 2000 and 2006.

In all there was an increase in the percentage of rural children living in poverty in 37 of 47 states. (There are no officially rural counties in Rhode Island, New Jersey or Massachusetts.) Regionally, the South had the highest proportion of poor rural children, but the greatest percentage increase in poor rural kids was in the Midwest.

Demographers track the child poverty rate because it is the best single indicator of children's well-being. The child poverty rate is closely related to delinquency, disease and emotional health.

Here are some breakdowns by states of child poverty numbers and rates, beginning with the number of rural children living in poverty by state. Following are two more charts, showing the percentage of a state's rural population under 18 living in poverty; and a chart showing the change in the percent of kids living in poverty from 2000 to 2006.

STATE Total Rural Population Under age 18 Below Poverty
Connecticut 5,993
Nevada 6,803
Maryland 7,224
Delaware 7,269
Wyoming 8,891
New Hampshire 9,627
Alaska 10,623
Vermont 11,139
North Dakota 11,903
Utah 12,562
Hawaii 12,651
South Dakota 20,987
Idaho 21,886
Maine2 22,713
Montana 25,559
Colorado 26,889
Nebraska 29,568
California 31,532
Washington 36,469
Iowa 38,949
Oregon 40,256
Minnesota 41,850
Virginia 42,472
Kansas 42,697
Wisconsin 44,538
Arizona 49,049
West Virginia 49,293
Florida 52,371
New Mexico 53,420
Indiana 61,289
New York 63,898
Illinois 70,093
Pennsylvania 72,294
South Carolina 72,881
Michigan 73,266
Arkansas 76,256
Alabama 79,674
Missouri3 80,212
Oklahoma 82,274
Tennessee 92,079
Louisiana 101,521
Ohio 105,850
Kentucky 113,363
Georgia 116,169
Mississippi 146,446
North Carolina 157,381
Texas 199,362
   
STATE Percent of rural population under age 18 below poverty
Connecticut 9.1
New Hampshire 9.7
Maryland 10.9
Wyoming 10.9
Nevada 11.1
Iowa 12.9
Vermont 12.9
Minnesota 13.4
Wisconsin 13.4
Hawaii 14.7
Utah 14.8
North Dakota 15.7
Nebraska 16.5
Idaho 16.8
Pennsylvania 17.5
Kansas 17.9
Indiana 18.0
Alaska 18.3
Michigan 18.3
California 18.4
Colorado 18.4
Montana 18.4
Virginia 19.2
Illinois 19.6
Delaware 19.7
New York 19.7
Ohio 20.2
South Dakota 20.2
Maine2 20.6
Washington 21.0
Oregon 21.9
Missouri3 22.3
Florida 23.4
Tennessee 25.1
Alabama 25.2
North Carolina 25.2
Oklahoma 26.8
Georgia 26.9
Texas 27.3
Kentucky 27.7
Arkansas 28.4
Arizona 28.8
South Carolina 29.1
West Virginia 29.2
New Mexico 30.1
Louisiana 34.4
Mississippi 34.7
   
STATES Percentage Point Change in Rural Child Poverty Rate from 2000 to 2006
Maryland -4.0
California -3.7
Wyoming -3.6
Hawaii -2.2
Montana -2.0
Nevada -1.2
North Dakota -1.1
Alabama -1.0
Arizona -0.7
South Dakota -0.1
New Mexico 0.2
Vermont 0.3
Florida 0.7
New Hampshire 0.9
Idaho 1.1
Washington 1.3
Utah 1.4
West Virginia 1.5
Iowa 1.7
Missouri3 2.0
Kentucky 2.1
Minnesota 2.1
Virginia 2.2
Connecticut 2.4
New York 2.4
Texas 2.4
Pennsylvania 2.5
Nebraska 3.0
Louisiana 3.2
Wisconsin 3.2
Kansas 3.7
Arkansas 3.8
Georgia 3.8
Oklahoma 3.9
Colorado 4.0
Mississippi 4.1
Oregon 4.1
Delaware 4.4
North Carolina 4.6
Alaska 4.8
Michigan 4.8
Illinois 4.9
South Carolina 5.3
Tennessee 5.4
Maine2 5.5
Indiana 6.4
Ohio 6.8

 

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