Rural poverty is widespread in the USA with higher proportions of rural residents than urban residents being poor. Rural poverty tends to cluster in southern states and on tribal lands across the United States. Between 2010-2014, almost 22 percent of all people who lived in rural southern areas were poor. Further, the South contains 85 percent of the persistently poor counties in the US, meaning those counties that have had poverty rates of 20 percent or more for more than thirty years. And Southern states contain a disproportionate share of the US rural population (42 percent) compared with rural areas in the Northeast, Midwest, and western US.
SSRC Notes synthesize seminal research, practice, and policy literature on topics of interest for those working in the self-sufficiency field. They inform the field about key issues for consideration within the topical area and highlight relevant literature within the SSRC library. This SSRC Note focuses on the pervasiveness of poverty in rural America.