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Rural Poverty Increases by 1.5% in 2009
Washington, D.C., Sept. 17, 2010 – The poverty rate for rural Americans increased by 1.5 percentage points in 2009, according to a Census Bureau report issued yesterday.
“The recession is reaching every part of the country,” noted Moises Loza, executive director of the Housing Assistance Council, a national nonprofit organization that addresses affordable housing issues in rural parts of the country. “With the increase in poverty, more and more families face housing problems. Our nation’s commitment to ensure decent, affordable housing for everyone is more important now than ever.”
A Housing Assistance Council research note analyzes data from the Census Bureau’s Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009 report. At 16.6 percent, the 2009 nonmetropolitan poverty rate was higher than the national level, up from 15.1 percent in 2008. Overall, 7.9 million people outside metropolitan areas had incomes below the poverty level in 2009.
The poverty rate for the United States increased between 2008 and 2009 to its highest levels since 1994. The official poverty rate measured by the U.S. Census Bureau grew to 14.3 percent, up from 13.2 percent in 2008. The Census Bureau estimates that 43.6 million people in the United States were poor in 2009, up from 39.8 million in 2008.
A national nonprofit corporation headquartered in Washington, D.C., and founded in 1971, the Housing Assistance Council publishes numerous reports, program manuals, and other materials on rural housing topics. HAC helps local organizations build and preserve affordable homes in rural America by providing below-market financing, technical assistance, research, training, and information services. HAC’s programs focus on local solutions, empowerment of the poor, reduced dependency, and self-help strategies. HAC is an equal opportunity lender.