Southern Living Isn’t Easy: The South Sees Major Increase In Poverty

July 3, 2014  |  


Other parts of the country may be on the rebound from the recession. But don’t count the South in that group. Even today, the South is poorer than the rest of the nation, according to new findings.

North Carolina and a number of other Southern U.S. states had the biggest increases in the number of people living in “poverty areas” between 2000 and 2010, according to a just released Census Bureau report. “Poverty areas are places where more than 20 percent of the people live below the federal poverty line, which varies by family size. For a family of four, the poverty line in most states is an annual income of $23,850,” reports The Huffington Post.

And the number of poor Americans is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, some 25.7 percent of all Americans live in poverty-stricken areas.  This is a major increase from 18.1 percent in 2000, found the report. Lack of money is not they only thing that affects these areas; poverty areas most commonly have “higher crime rates, poor housing conditions, and fewer job opportunities,” states the report. And majority of these poverty areas are located in the South.

Five of the six biggest states to see an increase in poverty areas were in the South. Southern states typically trail behind the rest of the country in things like wages, economic mobility and access to health care, and take the lead in poverty, obesity and general unhappiness. “Another thing Southern states have in common is Republican political leaders that have spent the past decade shrinking the social safety net,” reports HuffPo.

There are two Southern states–Louisiana and West Virginia–who did not follow the downward trend. These states saw the number of people living in poverty decrease during the decade.

But the region that saw the largest overall rise in the number of people living in poverty areas between 2000 and 2010 was actually the Midwest, not the South. That may, however, be attributed to the fact that the Midwest had relatively low numbers to begin with while the South began with extremely high rates of people living in poverty-stricken areas.

Oftentimes, when we think about poverty, our minds go to third-world countries, when in fact it’s right here as well. It’s an issue that requires our attention and the services and investment to combat.

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • T. T.

    Get involved in your communities to do your best to make a difference in them. Get out and vote. Make your elected officials become aware of your communities problems and downfalls.

    Keep your friends and families informed on social issues in your community if they aren’t aware of any.

    Most importantly try your best not to have a negative or pessimistic attitude, not everything will fall into place overnight so keeping a positive attitude will help you stay in the game & not give up.

    Educate your children and their friends as well. (they are our future)

    It truly begins with us because if you’re not a part of the solution……, well you know the rest. Keep your head up & stay positive folks! ☺

  • mrsabsdeux

    As a person that lives in the south (Alabama), my opinion is this is because the cost of living keeps increasing, but the pay is not. I have so many clients that are struggling because the cheapest apartment here is $475, yet the minimum wage is only $7.25/hr.. So if you’re working 30 hours, you barely have enough for the rent, let alone food, gas for your car, and electricity.

    • Vanessa

      Man you can’t find an basement room inside of the tiniest apartment for only $475 in NYC. Not even the projects. Forgive how this may sound but I don’t believe the struggle is as real as living in a northern city because the cost of living is so much higher.

      • mrsabsdeux

        The struggle is real everywhere. The cheapest may be more expensive, but I’m sure you’re min wage is higher. I wasn’t saying it to make excuses. My point was that the min wage to COL ratio everywhere is not enough.

  • Pingback: Southern Living Isn’t Easy: The South Sees Major Increase In Poverty –

  • Pingback: Southern Living Isn’t Easy: The South Sees Major Increase In Poverty - Beauty Tips Around The World | Beauty Tips Around The World()