10 Counties Where Poverty Worsened Despite a Stronger U.S. Economy

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While the share of Americans living in poverty has continued to shrink since the Great Recession ended, some pockets of the nation have actually become poorer since then.

Money Talks News analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) to find out which counties saw poverty rates rise from 2009, the year the recession officially ended, to 2017, the latest year for which ACS data is available.

By Census Bureau measures, the 2017 poverty threshold for a four-person household that includes two children, for example, was a total income of $24,858. In other words, the federal agency considered all members of such a household to live in poverty if the household earned less than that amount in 2017. The 2017 poverty threshold for a one-person household was $12,488.

Our analysis found that about 1 in 8 Americans lived in poverty in 2017, down from 1 in 7 in 2009. But in the following 10 counties, the share of residents living in poverty rose by the most percentage points during the same period.

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