Friday, September 11, 2009

Rural poverty rate steady, as national rate rises

Erik Eckholm reports in today's New York Times that the national poverty rate has hit a 12-year high, jumping to 13.2% in 2008, up from from 12.5% in 2007. Eckholm's source, the U.S. Census Bureau report, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States 2008, also indicated a decline in employer-provided health coverage.

Eckholm does not mention this in the NYT story, but the report indicates the poverty rate "outside metropolitan areas" was statistically unchanged from 2007 to 2008. At 15.1%, that rate remains significantly higher than the national poverty rate. (See page 15 of report). The poverty rate jump for just those living inside metropolitan areas was from 11.9% (2007) to 12.9% (2008).

For details of income changes along the metropolitan/nonmetropolitan axis, see page 8 of the report; health insurance differentials are detailed on page 26.

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