NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Where The Poor Are

February 15, 1999

More of Mississippi's residents lived in poverty in 1995 than did residents of any other state in the union, while New Hampshire had the fewest, according to a new Census Bureau report.

In 1995, a family of four was considered poor if its annual income was below $15,569 -- or $12,158 for a family of three.

  • Nationally, 13.8 percent of Americans lived in poverty in 1995 -- compared to 15.1 percent in 1993.
  • Between 1993 and 1995, poverty dropped in every state except Hawaii, Idaho and Montana, as well as the District of Columbia.
  • The typical family earned $34, 076 in 1995 -- ranging from an average of $25,354 in West Virginia to $44,345 in New Jersey.

Each estimate is based on a three-year average -- meaning that the 1995 figures are an average composite of 1994 through 1996, and 1993 figures are based on estimates of 1992 through 1994.

Each year, some $20 billion in federal money is allocated based on poverty rates in each county. That includes about $8 billion in Title I education dollars to aid schools serving students from poorer households.

Source: Associated Press, "Declines in Poverty Miss D.C., Three States," Washington Times, February 13, 1999.


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