CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau says that eleven counties in West Virginia are in persistent poverty, but what exactly does that mean?
The report said that areas considered to be in persistent poverty have had a poverty rate of at least 20% for more than 30 years. Based U.S. Census Bureau data from 1989 to 2019, approximately 10.6% of counties in America and 6.1% of the country’s population lived in persistent poverty counties.
Among the 341 counties that were placed in the group, 11 of those counties were in West Virginia:
According to the detailed report, 14.4% of West Virginians live in persistent poverty census tracts, and approximately 16.8% of West Virginians are considered impoverished.
To be considered in poverty in 2022, the income for a family of five with three children had to be less than $34,926. An individual under the age of 65 had to make less than $15,225 in a year to be considered in poverty.
“Research suggests that people living in higher poverty areas experience more acute systemic problems (such as limited access to medical services, healthy and affordable food, quality education and civic engagement opportunities) than those in lower poverty areas,” said the Census Bureau release.
Previously, researchers have identified counties with high poverty levels over time as more likely to receive increased support from government agencies.