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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

Tag: Rural poverty

Rural Poverty – Michigan

Poverty’s grip chokes rural Michigan, By John Counts and Paula Gardner, April 20, 2018, MLive: “Northern Michigan may boast multi-million-dollar beachside mansions and upscale second homes, but hiding in the cracks of that image are residents who are struggling to get food on the table. As the Great Recession fades in Michigan’s largest cities, its hold on small towns and villages remains stronger than statewide data suggests…”

Rural Poverty – Illinois

Rural poverty in Illinois met with concern, community aid, By Nat Williams and Jeff DeYoung, August 11, 2017, Southern Illinoisan: “Poverty isn’t particular about geography; it affects people everywhere. But in Illinois, rural residents may have a more difficult path out of economic stagnation. Recovery from the Great Recession has been slower in rural communities compared to their urban counterparts…”

Rural Poverty and Crime

Report: Violent crime rate is higher for rural poor, By Sophia Tareen (AP), March 15, 2017, State Journal-Register: “People living in poverty are more likely to become victims of violent crime than higher income earners whether they live in cities, suburbs or rural areas, but the rural poor experience crime at higher rates, according to a Wednesday report by a Chicago research group…”

Star Tribune Series on Poverty

  • Taking risks to pursue the American dream, By Adam Belz, December 28, 2016, Star Tribune: “Ethrophic Burnett escaped the South Side of Chicago, moved to Minneapolis ‘to have a life for my kids’ — and wound up in a social experiment.  In the late 1990s, when the oldest of her children were just in elementary school, her family was one of hundreds that was moved to the Twin Cities suburbs as the result of a federal fair housing lawsuit. Her children thrived, she said. They developed new ambitions that otherwise might have seemed distant.  Then, three years ago, as her oldest daughter entered college, Burnett lost eligibility for the home she was living in and moved the family back to the poorest area of Minneapolis…”
  • Prosperity grows out of small-town America, By Adam Belz, December 29, 2016, Star Tribune: “Sylvia Hilgeman grew up no-frills on a farm in Red Lake County in northwest Minnesota, where flat fields are broken by steel grain bins, stands of aspen and abandoned farmhouses.  Her dad cultivated rented land and her mom raised cattle and milked cows at a neighboring farm to help pay the bills. They raised their children in a double-wide mobile home across a gravel driveway from her great-uncle’s homestead. ‘My parents, they worked harder than anyone I’ve ever met,’ Hilgeman said. The work paid off for their children. Sylvia went to college, got a job in accounting and later joined the FBI. Today, she investigates white collar crime in New York City…”
  • Poor forced to make extreme choices as affordable homes erode, By Adam Belz, December 30, 2016, Star Tribune: “Kendrick Bates fought his way out of poverty to within two semesters of a bachelor’s degree. Now he needs an apartment. He’s been accepted at a college in suburban Roseville, but he hasn’t been able to find a home in a good neighborhood that he can afford. Bates, who now lives near the southern Minnesota town of New Ulm with his two daughters, grew up in poverty in Mississippi and is wary of the trade-offs of urban life. He is looking beyond the metro area and likes Stillwater, Hudson and New Richmond in Wisconsin…”

Identifying Poverty Areas using Satellite Imagery

Scientists use machine learning to fight global poverty from space, By Lonnie Shekhtman, August 18, 2016, Christian Science Monitor: “Satellites are best known for helping smartphones map driving routes or televisions deliver programs. But now, data from some of the thousands of satellites orbiting Earth are helping track things like crop conditions on rural farms, illegal deforestation, and increasingly, poverty in the hard-to-reach places around the globe…”

Rural Poverty – Oklahoma

Rural poverty: ‘A way of life’ for numerous Oklahomans, By Michael Overall, August 8, 2016, Tulsa World: “With no air conditioning on a brutally hot summer afternoon, 19-year-old Breeze Bunch is sitting on the front porch with a half-empty Pepsi and a bottle of sunscreen.  ‘Why don’t you go splash in the water?’ Bunch tells her 2-year-old daughter, who waddles off toward an inflatable kiddie pool under a shade tree beside the house.
Sharing a clapboard house with her boyfriend’s family, Bunch lives on a dead-end street north of downtown in one of the poorest, most crime-ridden neighborhoods in Oklahoma. This isn’t Tulsa or Oklahoma City, or even Muskogee or Lawton. A five-minute walk could put Bunch in the middle of a cow pasture…”

Rural Poverty Initiatives

  • Obama administration announces new rural poverty initiatives, By Jackie Mader, February 24, 2016, Education Week: “Rural children living in poverty will receive more attention under several new initiatives announced by the Obama administration during a Tuesday meeting of the White House Rural Council.  The programs will encourage communities to prioritize rural child poverty, offer loans to community development projects in rural areas, and provide funding for a ‘two-generation’ approach to rural poverty…”
  • Fighting poverty and opiate addiction in rural communities, By Lizzie O’Leary, February 24, 2016, Marketplace: “In America’s rural communities, poverty, health and education gaps, and a striking increase in opiate addiction are challenging social services and the budget. News of the increasing numbers of deaths among middle-aged Americans and the high rates of opiate overdoses are in the news, and since 2011, the Obama administration’s Rural Poverty Coalition has been tackling the multi-generational issues that come with providing social services to rural America…”

Hispanic Rural Poverty

Hispanic poverty in rural areas challenges states, By Teresa Wiltz, August 14, 2015, Stateline: “Today, one in four babies born in the U.S. is Hispanic. Increasingly they are being born into immigrant families who’ve bypassed the cities—the traditional pathway for immigrants—for rural America. Hispanic babies born in rural enclaves are more likely to be impoverished than those in the city. And it’s harder for them to receive help from federal and state programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Consistent health care also is hard to come by, particularly if their parents are undocumented and are fearful of being discovered and deported—even though the children are U.S. citizens. As a result, many researchers say, many of these children may never realize their full potential and escape poverty…”

States and Rural Homelessness

States struggle with ‘hidden’ rural homelessness, By Teresa Wiltz, June 26, 2015, Stateline: “At the Micah Ecumenical Ministries, in the center of this quaint colonial town, Stella Dempsey sits in the waiting room, looking dejected. Ministry staffers offered her a bed at a shelter, but she says she can’t bear to go back. Still, she’s feeling desperate. She is homeless and jobless and sleeps in a tent in the woods. She’s got cirrhosis of the liver, high blood pressure, diabetes and a bad back. Two months ago, she said, she almost died. Now, she’s run out of all her medications, from her bipolar meds to her insulin. She is not eligible for Medicaid under Virginia law…”

Rural Poverty and Child Health – Ohio

  • Poverty leads to health problems for rural kids, By Jessie Balmert, August 7, 2014, Zanesville Times Recorder: “Children in Ohio’s rural counties face health problems their city peers don’t, and the gap is getting worse, according to a Children’s Defense Fund report released Thursday. More than 28 percent of children in Ohio’s Appalachian counties, including Muskingum County, lived in poverty compared with the state average of 23 percent, according to the report…”
  • Report: Children falling behind in Appalachian Ohio, By Jim Ryan, August 8, 2014, Columbus Dispatch: “Few would be surprised that families in Appalachia struggle with poverty and inadequate access to health care. A new report, however, shows that children in Ohio’s Appalachian counties are even worse off than kids in inner-city neighborhoods…”

Rural Poverty

How rural poverty is changing: Your fate is increasingly tied to your town, By Lydia DePillis, August 7, 2014, Washington Post: “The town of Las Animas takes about five minutes to drive through when the one stoplight is blinking yellow, as usual. It’s easy to miss but hard to escape. Just ask Frank Martinez. Martinez doesn’t remember having a deprived childhood. His mom was a home care nurse and his dad was disabled from a workplace injury, but he and his five siblings always had what they needed, even if they didn’t wear the latest Nikes to school. That childhood was cut short, however, when he fathered his first child at 16, married another girl when he was 18, and had three more kids before she left and his grandparents took them in…”

Rural Poverty

What’s the matter With Eastern Kentucky? By Annie Lowrey, June 26, 2014, New York Times: “There are many tough places in this country: the ghost cities of Detroit, Camden and Gary, the sunbaked misery of inland California and the isolated reservations where Native American communities were left to struggle. But in its persistent poverty, Eastern Kentucky — land of storybook hills and drawls ­ — just might be the hardest place to live in the United States. Statistically speaking. The team at The Upshot, a Times news and data-analysis venture, compiled six basic metrics to give a picture of the quality and longevity of life in each county of the nation: educational attainment, household income, jobless rate, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity rate. Weighting each equally, six counties in eastern Kentucky’s coal country (Breathitt, Clay, Jackson, Lee, Leslie and Magoffin) rank among the bottom 10. Clay County, in dead last, might as well be in a different country. The median household income there is barely above the poverty line, at $22,296. . .”

Rural Poverty

USDA says poverty increasing in rural America, By Michael Rosmann, May 28, 2014, Farm and Ranch Guide: “Rural child poverty is at its highest level since the mid-1980s, according to two recently released USDA Reports: Rural America at a Glance, 2013 Edition and Rural Poverty & Well-being. Like the overall poverty rate, child poverty in nonmetropolitan (rural) areas of the US has historically been higher than in metropolitan (urban) areas. In 2012, rural child poverty increased to 26.7 percent – its highest level in nearly three decades – while the urban rate declined slightly to 20.9 percent. Definition of poverty. The federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines poverty as less income than is necessary to purchase basic needs, which include food, shelter, clothing and other essential goods. . .”

Medicaid Enrollment – Buffalo, NY

Erie County’s Medicaid data shows poverty existing ‘everywhere’, By Harold McNeil, September 13, 2013, Buffalo News: “Medicaid, the largest single cost in Erie County’s operating budget, is no longer just an urban expense, according to a report released Thursday by the Medicaid inspector general for the county. The report shows that a majority of the county’s Medicaid recipients reside in the city but that increasing numbers of people who rely on the program can be found in virtually all of Buffalo’s first-ring suburbs, including Cheektowaga, Amherst, Hamburg and West Seneca…”

USDA Rural Poverty Initiative – Utah

StrikeForce aims to help reduce rural poverty in Utah, By Whitney Evans, April 3, 2013, Deseret News: “Gilbert Harris, 70, and his wife manually watered their 10 acres of alfalfa and Native American corn for most of his farming career. It took them five days every two weeks. Through funding provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Harris installed gated irrigation a little more than five years ago and reduced the time he spent watering by one to two days. ‘All these people are here to help you, but you have to put it together. We found out that is the secret,’ Harris said in a video created by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Utah is one of 10 states selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to participate in the StrikeForce initiative, created in an effort to boost economic development and job creation…”

USDA Rural Poverty Initiative

USDA grows rural poverty effort, Associated Press, March 26, 2013, Washington Post: “A federal program intended to reduce poverty and improve life in rural areas through better access to federal funding is expanding to six more states, officials said Tuesday. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack traveled to South Carolina to announce the expansion of the so-called StrikeForce initiative, which already operates in 10 states. The program will now also be available in the Carolinas, the Dakotas, Alabama and Virginia. The goal of StrikeForce is to help farmers, food producers and other businesses get access to money for projects such as new wells, greenhouses, community gardens, kitchen space and summer meals for low-income school children. The money is often hard to access because of complicated grant applications, requirements for matching funds and limited staffing…”

Summer Food Programs

Summer food programs seeking new ways to assist children, By John McAuliff, July 1, 2012, USA Today: “Summer food programs aiming to keep U.S. children from going hungry have grown 25 percent in the last five years amid a nationwide push by local food banks to change the way they serve food to needy people. Summer food programs aiming to keep U.S. children from going hungry have grown 25 percent in the last five years amid a nationwide push by local food banks to change the way they serve food to needy people. Food banks say the rise in numbers is because of a push to find more creative ways to bring food to an estimated 19 million hungry U.S. children. . .”

Rural Poverty Rates

SD has highest rural poverty rate in Great Plains, By Marcus Traxler, May 23, 2012, Mitchell Daily Republic: “South Dakota has the highest rate of rural poverty in a 10-state region of the Great Plains, and more than one-fourth of the state’s rural children live in poverty, according to a report by the Center for Rural Affairs. According to 2010 census data used in the report, 20.6 percent of South Dakotans in rural counties live in poverty. That’s 44,973 of the state’s 218,821 rural residents. Montana was the next closest state with a rural poverty rate of 17.8 percent. A rural county is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as a county with a population center less than 10,000 residents in size and is not in a metropolitan or micropolitan area…”

Rural Poverty in the US

U.S. recession hikes rate of rural poverty, By Bill Bishop, January 31, 2012, Daily Yonder: “The percentage of people living in poverty was higher in rural America than in either exurban or urban counties in 2010, according to the U.S. Census. And these rates have increased since the recession began in 2007. In 2007, before the recession began, 15.8 percent of those living in rural counties fell under the poverty line. Three years later, that rate in rural counties had increased to 17.8 percent…”

Poverty Measurement – China

  • China raises poverty line, increasing number of official poor by 100 million, Associated Press, November 29, 2011, Washington Post: “Even with its booming economy, China now has more poor people – at least officially. A sharp upward revision in the official poverty line, announced by the government Tuesday, means that 128 million Chinese in rural areas now qualify as poor, 100 million more than under the previous standard. The new threshold of about $1 a day nearly doubles the previous amount. While the revised poverty line is still below the World Bank threshold of $1.25 a day, the change brings China closer to international norms and better reflects the country’s overall higher standards of living after three decades of buoyant growth…”
  • China increases rural poverty limit to $1 a day, November 29, 2011, BBC News: “China has redefined the level at which people in rural areas are considered poor to include everyone earning less than $1 a day (6.5 yuan). Previously people in the countryside were only regarded as poor if they earned less than 55 cents a day. The move should see millions more people get access to state benefits. Some 27 million people were classified as rural poor last year. The new threshold is expected to increase that number fourfold…”