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New poverty study: County 5th in state, 75th in nation

A recently-released study produced by news agency Stacker, which analyzed the U.S. Census Bureau’s five-year population estimates – gleaned from the 2014-2018 American Community Survey (ACS) – was designed to provide a breakdown of poverty across America, a problem it called “one of America’s most vexing and poignant issues.”

According to the data, Dallas County has the fifth highest rate of poverty in Alabama and ranks 75th highest nationwide – according to the U.S. Geological Survey, there are 3,141 counties and county equivalents across the United States and the District of Columbia.

According to the study, Dallas County’s poverty rate, as shown in the 2018 ACS, is 31.1 percent, which represents 12,247 people living in poverty – roughly 77 percent of residents are living above the state’s poverty line.

Dallas County is preceded in the state by Black Belt counties Perry County, with a poverty rate of 41.8 percent, Greene County, with a poverty rate of 38.7 percent, Bullock County, with a poverty rate of 31.4 percent, and Sumter County, with a poverty rate of 31.3 percent.

On the other side, Shelby County’s poverty rate of 8.4 percent was the lowest in the state, followed by Baldwin County, with a rate of 10.6 percent, and Elmore County at 12.3 percent

As a whole, Alabama has the seventh-highest number of residents living in poverty, 829,400 people, with a poverty rate of 17.5 percent, which is matched by the state’s child poverty rate.

Hispanic/Latinx people face the highest rates of poverty in the state, 32.2 percent, followed by Black people at 28.4 percent.

Native Americans in Alabama have a poverty rate of 16.8 percent while Asian Americans and white both have poverty rates just over 12 percent.

Nationwide, Black people are more than two times as likely to live in poverty as thei white counterparts and in some states. Including Iowa, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, a third of Black residents live in poverty, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.