Organization ranks Alabama as sixth poorest state in the U.S.

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Small U.S. flags flutter as voters arrive to cast their ballots during the Alabama primary election at Huntingdon College, Tuesday, June 5, 2018, in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Alabama Possible released its 2018 Alabama Poverty Data Sheet on Tuesday, revealing that Alabama is the sixth poorest state in the U.S, according to the organization’s data.

The statewide nonprofit organization that identifies poverty in states reported that 17.2 percent of Alabamians just only over 800,000 people live below the federal poverty line, which is higher than the national average of 14 percent. In 2016, Alabama’s poverty rate was 18.5 percent, or nearly 900,000 people, which means year-over-year fewer Alabamians live in poverty, according to Alabama Possible.

The Alabama Poverty Data Sheet highlights statewide poverty rates and data related to educational attainment, employment and food security. Alabama Possible publishes the report on an annual basis.

“It is encouraging to see that fewer Alabamians live in poverty year-over-year, but we still have 800,000 friends and neighbors who face significant barriers to prosperity,” Kristina Scott, executive director of Alabama Possible, stated in a news release “It is also deeply concerning to see that the median household income for people of color in Alabama is roughly $15,000 – $20,000 lower than the median household income for white citizens. We must advocate for equitable systems that will dismantle poverty and promote prosperity for all Alabamians.”

Key findings from the 2018 Alabama Poverty Data Sheet include:

  • Jefferson County’s poverty rate is 15.3 percent.
  • Alabama is the sixth poorest state in the U.S., and 17.2 percent of Alabamians live below the federal poverty line – a noticeably larger percentage than the national average of 14 percent. The federal poverty line is $24,257 for a family of four.
  • At a county level, 15 of Alabama’s 67 counties have a poverty rate higher than 25 percent. Eight counties have a poverty rate higher than 30 percent.
  • In Alabama, 250,000 children live in poverty. Also, the overall child food insecurity rate is 22.5 percent, which is higher than the national average of 17.5 percent.
  • Alabama’s median household income is $46,309, which is $11,308 less than the national median of $57,617.
  • Food insecurity is another top concern for the state. Alabama has a notably high food insecurity rate at 17.7 percent.

 To access the 2018 Alabama Poverty Data Sheet, visit AlabamaPossible.org/PovertyDataSheet.

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