USA – Poverty rate by State – 1980/2019

In this new article I try to analyze the poverty rate in the United States. We will look at not only the data for the entire nation but also state by state. In fact, the data is different by area.
The article has been realized thanks to the data on the database: Poverty rates refer to the people who are in poverty compared to the total population. USA – Poverty rate by State – 1980/2019.

USA – Poverty rate by State – 1980/201

What is the poverty rate in the United States? How has it evolved in individual states? How has it changed since 1980? Which states have the highest poverty rates? In the map created by Statistics and Data, you can see how the rate has evolved from 1980 to 2019. There are 34 million people in poverty in the United States. The poverty rate in 2019 is 10.5%. The state with the highest poverty rate in the entire United States in 2019 is Mississippi with 19.2% of the total population. A figure that peaked in 1988 when it was 27.2. In second place is Louisiana and in third place is New Mexico. In Louisiana in 2019 the poverty rate is 17.9%. In New Mexico it is 15.3. This is followed by South Carolina and Arkansas. Among the top 10 states in the U.S. by poverty rate in 2019, 9 states are part of the South. Only New Mexico is in the top 10 (West US).

The poverty rate in U.S. states from 1980 to 2019

From 1980 to 2019, the poverty rate has definitely gone down. Whereas in 1980 the top 10 states ranged from 24.3% to 16.8%, in 2019 it goes from 19.2% to 12.7%. Interestingly, in 1980 and 2019 the top state is still Mississippi. From 24.3 in 1980 this state is down to 19.2 in 2019. It was not always the first state. In the late 1980s it was surpassed by Louisiana by one year, as well as in the early 1990s. Around the mid-1990s the first state was often New Mexico and for a very brief period also District of Columbia. In the 2000s Arkansas and New Mexico had the highest poverty rates only to be surpassed again by Mississippi. So went the remaining years with these three states vying for the dismal record.

US poverty rate by State by decade

In the table below you can see the poverty rate every 10 years. The last figure refers to 2019 because the 2020 figures are not yet available. It is clear that the 2020 data will be a very strong increase because of Covid-19. In general, one can see that there has been a strong decrease from the 1990s to the 2000s. Almost all the states that had a very high rate decreased. For example, Alabama went from 19.2 in 1990 to 13.3 in 2000. Louisiana went from 23.6 to 17.2. A decade later, partly as a result of the financial crisis, the figures rose again to the levels of ten years earlier. In fact, the 2010 figures are not too far off from 1990. In 2019, on the other hand, the data are again positive. As already mentioned it will be very interesting to see the trend next year which could probably take us back ten years to 2010 again.

District of ColumbiaSouth20.921.115.219.512.5
New HampshireNortheast76.
New JerseyNortheast99.27.311.16.3
New MexicoWest20.620.917.518.315.3
New YorkNortheast13.814.313.91612.5
North CarolinaSouth151312.517.412.7
North DakotaMidwest15.513.710.412.68.1
Rhode IslandNortheast10.77.510.2149.2
South CarolinaSouth16.816.211.116.915.1
South DakotaMidwest18.813.310.713.610.6
West VirginiaSouth15.218.114.716.813.9

Households by Total Money Income: 1967 to 2019

We have seen the trend in the poverty rate percentage by individual state. But what is the trend in household income at the national level? Has income increased or decreased from 1967 to 2019? The blue line indicates people with incomes below $15,000. These have decreased from 14.8 of the total to 9.1. Also decreasing albeit slightly are people with incomes between $15,000 and $24,999. In fact, these fell from 10.2 in 1967 to 8 points in 2019. While very high salaries have increased with a range that has gone from medium to high salaries, however, it seems that the category “in between” has all in all remained fairly the same as previous years.

Is the income of American households the same for everyone?

To complete the analysis on income and poverty rate I analysed the distribution of income from 1967 to 2019 by race.
In the table below you can see the distribution of income above 200k by race. Black and white Americans who had an income above 200k were the same: about 1% of the population. But while today almost 11% of the white American population has an income above $200,000, blacks stop at 4.9 of the total. A variation that has grown since the mid-1980s and has not stopped since.

Source and links

For this article I used data from as a source. In this database you can find a lot of interesting data including the poverty rate.

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