Thursday, April 19, 2012

The poorest county in each state

Most are rural, many are tiny, and a few are huge and urban. The median household income for these 50 counties also varies widely.

The number of Americans living in poverty has been on the rise since the onset of the Great Recession, as many households have seen their incomes drop and their debts mount during the past few years.

More than 15% of the population lived in poverty in 2010, the highest percentage since 1993, according to the most recent data from the Census Bureau. That means more than 46 million people fell below the poverty line, defined as $22,314 for a family of four.

MainStreet combed through the data to find the county in each state with the highest overall poverty rate.

New York's poorest county: Bronx
•Poverty rate: 30%
•Poverty rate of residents under 18: 42.2%
•Median household income: $32,674

One of New York's five boroughs, Bronx County stands out because of its high property values and low median household income. The median owner-occupied home value is more than $80,000 higher than the median state value, while the poverty rate is significantly higher than the state's overall rate.

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