A story about the recently released figures regarding poverty in the United States includes a nice map from Mint.com that show poverty rates by county. The map shows higher rates of poverty in Louisiana, Mississippi, some parts of Texas and New Mexico, Appalachia, some of the middle parts of the southern Atlantic states, and some pockets in the upper Great Plains.
This map shows the proportion of residents who are living in poverty; while the national rate is now about 1 in 7 Americans is under the poverty line, 25% or more of residents in these locations live in poverty. Many of these counties are more rural counties. The map would look different if it were mapping the absolute number of people living in poverty – then you might see a shift toward some larger metropolitan areas.
While areas of concentrated poverty in the city get a lot of attention, what is going on in some of these more rural areas? How did poverty rates shift over the last couple of decades in these locations?