Poverty Rate Drops in 20 States and the District of Columbia

Poverty rates declined in 20 states and the District of Columbia from 2016 to 2017, according to data released today.

The 2017 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year estimates show that in many states, declining poverty was the continuation of a longer trend. In California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina, this was the fourth consecutive year of statistically significant declines in the poverty rate.

Poverty Did Not Drop Everywhere

Poverty is not evenly experienced throughout the country.

The poverty rate increased in two states, Delaware and West Virginia. Delaware saw its rate increase from 11.7 percent to 13.6 percent and the rate for West Virginia rose from 17.9 percent to 19.1 percent.

As shown in Figure 1, 13 states had poverty rates below 11 percent, while Mississippi, New Mexico, Louisiana and West Virginia had a poverty rate of 18 percent or more for 2017.

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