|Poverty in Mississippi|
|Poverty in Mississippi|
Picture-1 A child in Poverty
Source: Child Poverty in America by Stephen Shames 2
According to Ecanned, the state of Mississippi when compared to other States across the United States, can be considered to have a very high poverty rate amongst the population, with a poverty rate of 19.9 percent with a family income under the 1999 poverty level. The Black or African American race/ethnicity population category holds the highest rate of poverty with 34.9 percent of the population in 2000 living in poverty. Individuals aged under 5 years are experiencing most percent people in poverty in Mississippi, reporting 28.7 percent of this age cohort living in poverty.3
In Mississippi 20.6% of people live below the federal poverty line. The south, as shown on the diagram below, has the highest poverty rate of 13.8 percent compared to the Midwest with 11.2 percent
Figure-1 Poverty by region
Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 4
The tables below indicate the rank of top 10 states in terms of Poverty related issues. Mississippi ranks first in both tables.
Table- 1 Top 10 States with Highest Poverty Rate, 2005-2006
Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 5
Table-2 Top 10 states in Prevalence of food insecurity. National average is 11.3%
Source: Feeding America. Hunger and Poverty Statistics 6
The state of Mississippi ranks 50th in the year 2007 as the nation’s poorest state; Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico were also among the poorest10. For several years this rank was unbeatable.
Figure-2 Poverty across the states
Source: West Coast Poverty Research Center 7
Counties in Mississippi that are considered to have critical poverty rates have poverty rates which are at least 50% higher than the state average. As shown in the map below, there are 14 counties in Mississippi that fit this criterion.8
Figure-3 Critical Poverty in Mississippi
Those counties with critical rates of poverty are the following:
* Bolivar (30.1%)
Source: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 9
The table below shows the poverty trend in rural and urban Mississippi from 1979 to 2005.(10)
Table -3: Mississippi Poverty Rate in Percent
Source: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
1 Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church. Mississippi Anual Conference of The United Methodist Church. Retrieved October 25, 2008: http://www.mississippi-umc.org/page.asp?PKValue=861.
2 Shames, Stephen. 1985. Child Poverty in America : The Homeless Families. Retrieved October 10, 2008: http://www.aliciapatterson.org/APF0803/Shames/Shames.html.
3 The Economy in a Can. 2007. Mississippi: Income and Poverty in the state of Mississippi. Retrieved November 3, 2008: http://www.ecanned.com/MS/2007/01/income-and-poverty-in-state-of.html.
4 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Retrieved September 08, 2008: http://www.usccb.org/cchd/povertyusa/povfacts_region.shtml.
6 Feeding America. Hunger and Poverty Statistics. Retrieved September 05, 2008: http://www.feedingamerica.org/learn_about_hunger/fact_sheet/poverty_stats.html?show_nce=1.
7 West Coast Poverty Center. Poverty in the US. Retrieved October 12, 2008: http://wcpc.washington.edu/basics/povertyus.shtml.
8 Boston, David. 2008. Poverty Rates in Mississippi: Poor People are Isolated to Areas Along Mississippi River. Retrieved October 25, 2008: http://poverty.suite101.com/article.cfm/poverty_in_mississippi.
9 United Sates Department of Agricaulture: Economic Research Service. 2008. ERS/USDA Briefing Room. Retrieved November 1, 2008: http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/incomepovertywelfare/HighPoverty/.
10 United Sates Department of Agricaulture: Economic Research Service. 2008. Mississippi Fact sheet. Retrieved November 1, 2008: http://www.ers.usda.gov/statefacts/ms.htm.