Poverty in America: An Encyclopedia

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Francis All of these counties are located in the Mississippi River Delta, where an agricultural heritage based upon slavery, and subsequently sharecropping, created an economic situation of generational poverty for poor blacks and whites alike.

Poverty in the United States

Mechanization of agricultural tasks did not alleviate this situation, given that it created even less demand for agricultural labor. For example, Phillips County had the second-highest poverty rate in Arkansas in and the single highest rate of impoverished children, but it was also in the top five counties in agricultural sales in The counties with the lowest poverty rates were: Saline 9. Only these four counties had poverty rates lower than the national average.

Again, these economic patterns reflect the racialized history of the state. Benton County benefits economically from corporations dependent upon low-wage labor the Wal-Mart headquarters is located there , as well as a high percentage of out-of-state retirees relocating to that county. Poverty and Minorities A social minority is a group of individuals who have been systematically and institutionally prevented from accessing economic, political, educational, and other advantages offered by society.

For this very reason, it is not surprising that minorities are disproportionately represented in the poverty figures. In in Arkansas, Within the population of those in poverty, whites made up At the same time, For Latinos , Whites clearly make up the majority of those in poverty, but there is a proportional overrepresentation of minorities in poverty, precisely because they are a social minority. Sociologists have noted that two other social minorities— women and children—have nationally and worldwide increasingly made up the largest proportion of those in poverty.

In other words, women earned The disparity of income differences between men and women is subsequently borne out in poverty rates. In , 19 percent of women living in Arkansas were in poverty, whereas 14 percent of men were. Nationally, the percentage of children in poverty under the age of eighteen was 19 percent, while in Arkansas it was These are people who are working full time but at minimum wage and are still under the poverty line based on how many children they have.

Counties in Arkansas reporting the highest incidence of child poverty were: Phillips Six counties had child poverty rates lower than the national average: Saline Urban versus Rural Education Where people live also influences income and thus poverty rates. The estimate put 1,, Arkansans living in rural areas, while 1,, are estimated to be living in urban areas. The rural poverty rate in was The rural-urban split reveals an even greater disparity in level of educational attainment, long known to be a key variable for ameliorating poverty.

In , In rural areas that figure was The national average in was As recently as , By , these figures dropped to The more recent rise in educational attainment holds promise that poverty rates will decline in the future. Conclusion Accounting for trends in poverty is a complex process. It requires one to look at historical, political, and economic patterns locally, nationally, and globally.

However, individuals are not entirely at the mercy of their circumstances.

Poor People's Campaign | The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute

Bureau of Labor Statistics. Goering, Christian Z. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, National Poverty Center. University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

Poverty in America

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    The story of American poverty, as told by one Alabama county

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