ERIC Number: ED395750
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Poverty in Rural America: Trends and Demographic Characteristics. Chapter 1.
This chapter examines recent trends in rural poverty and discusses some characteristics of the rural poor compared to the urban poor. Sources of poverty data for 1967-90 include the income supplement of the Census Bureau's annual Current Population Survey and personal income data compiled by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. "Rural" and "urban" are defined as nonmetropolitan and metropolitan areas, respectively. The nonmetro poverty rate decreased from 20.2 percent in 1967 to 13.5 percent in 1978, increased to 18.3 percent in 1983, then declined to 15.7 percent by 1989. Although nonmetro poverty rates were higher than total metro poverty rates throughout the period, the central city poverty rate has surpassed the nonmetro rate since the late 1970s. All poverty rates increased sharply from 1979 to 1983 because prices increased more rapidly than income, economic downturns decreased earnings, and tightened eligibility requirements increased poverty by removing people from the welfare rolls or by reducing their benefits. When metro poverty rages began to decline in 1983, the nonmetro rate lagged behind, reflecting relatively slow economic growth in nonmetro areas and revisions in metro-nonmetro designations. Official poverty statistics have been criticized because they do not consider benefits received in kind and do not reflect supposedly lower living costs in nonmetro areas. Data tables and text detail characteristics of the nonmetro poor, comparing them to the total metro poor and those in suburbs and inner cities. Poverty rates are discussed for married-couple families, female-headed families, children, Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, the elderly, disabled persons, and geographic regions. Policy implications are drawn for labor market strategies and transfer programs that aid poor children. (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Economic Research Service (USDA), Washington, DC.