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Hawaii Island Blog

How Hard Is Poverty Hitting Your County?

May 24, 2012

Check out this online interactive map that tracks poverty rate changes from 2007 to 2010.
If you don’t have time, the text below is from the companion article that explains the outdated methods of measuring poverty, and offers some asset building policy suggestion. This is all part of Frecia’s asset building initiative at Hawai'i County!

How Hard Is Poverty Hitting Your County?
A map of changes in poverty, county by county.
By Andy Hull, Nick McClellan, and Troy K. Schneider
Posted Friday, May 18, 2012, at 9:00 AM ET

It’s hardly news that the Great Recession pushed millions of Americans into poverty. In 2010, “poverty” meant having an income of less than $22,113 for a family of four; 15.1 percent of Americans were below that line. As this map shows, some areas of the country fared worse than others between 2007 and 2010. While some counties saw their poverty rates increase only slightly, and some even saw them drop, the number of people under the poverty line in Oregon’s Malheur County doubled to nearly two-fifths of its population. And those “bright spots” that appear as dark blue? Look closer—a full 6-point improvement in South Dakota’s Ziebach County still left more than one-half its residents below the poverty line. And even the poverty rate itself understates the privation in the country.


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