Acadia poverty rate below state, national average
By: Jeannine LeJeune
BATON ROUGE - Data released last month by the Census Bureau shows that Acadia Parish’s poverty average is below the state and national averages.
Thanks to the recession, America faced one its worst years for poverty in 2009 in more than half a century.
According to the data, the total number of Americans living in poverty hit 43.6 million, the highest level in 51 years. The national poverty rate rose to 14.3 percent from 13.2 percent, or one in seven Americans.
Louisiana is the eighth poorest state. They lie behind Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Washington, D.C., New Mexico, West Virginia and Alabama. Texas and South Carolina round out the top 10 poorest states.
In Louisiana, 17 percent of residents live in poverty. Specifically in Acadia Parish the poverty average is 13 percent. Below the state’s 17 percent and the nation’s 14.3 percent.
Elsewhere in the state, Vermilion, Lafayette and Iberia parishes also have a 17 percent average and Cameron Parish has a 23 percent average.
A personal finance site, Mint, recently together an interactive chart of regional poverty rates. Among the hardest-hit states are Louisiana, Mississippi and certain areas of Texas. States with the lowest poverty statistics include Wyoming, Hawaii, Minnesota and several East Coast states. To view the chart, visit http://www.mint.com/blog/trends/poverty-10182010/?display=wide.
The data also shows that suburban areas are now home to one-third of the nation’s poor and that large cities are not immune to the recessions effects.
Residents in cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Miami have seen the biggest drop in personal income in the last year.
The Census Bureau’s statistics show that a growing number of layoffs last year caused millions of Americans to lose employee-provided health insurance, leaving 16.7 percent of Americans with no health insurance, the highest level since 1987.