Poverty Across The United States: Gap Analysis

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The poverty numbers across the United States vary widely depending on state and region. For example, the state of Mississippi has the highest poverty level of any state, at 22.0 percent (“SAIPE Mississippi”). In the northeast, there is New Hampshire with the lowest level of poverty by state at 8.2 percent (“SAIPE New Hampshire”). In Missouri, the poverty level is 14.8 percent, which is about even with the national level of 13.5 percent as of 2015 (“SAIPE Missouri”). In analyzing the Kansas City metro area, which includes Missouri and Kansas, numbers show that Wyandotte County Kansas has the highest poverty level at 24.4 percent (“SAIPE Kansas”), followed closely by Jackson County Missouri at 16.5 percent in poverty (“SAIPE Missouri”). …show more content…
When examining poverty based on income it is easy to generalize that most times the lower the income the higher the chances of poverty, but this is not always true. The United States had a median income $53,657 in 2014 (“SAIPE United States”). The lowest median income for any state was Mississippi at $39,738 in 2014, also in 2014 Mississippi had the highest poverty rate (“SAIPE Mississippi”). These initial numbers seem to show an exact correlation between income and poverty, but if one examines other states numbers during this same time period, it can be determined that this in not always true. For example, in 2014 New Hampshire had the lowest percentage of poverty at 9.2 percent but the eighth highest median income at $66,469 (“SAIPE New Hampshire”). The state with the highest median income in 2014 was Maryland at $73,851, but only the second lowest poverty rate at 10.4 percent (“SAIPE Maryland”). …show more content…
Most believe that by reducing or eradicating childhood poverty, it can create a trickle-down effect on other impoverished groups. From the late 1970s onward the United States averaged above 20 percent for childhood poverty until this changed in 2015 when it dropped to just below 19.7 percent. These poverty numbers have negative impacts on the United States, costing an estimated $500 billion per year. Along with the cost aspect, there is the effect on learning comprehension. Steven Pressmen summed this up by writing, “Poor children are likely to show up at school hungry, adversely affecting learning, IQ and future wages” (323). One study also suggested that poor children are twice as likely to repeat a grade, be suspended or expelled from school, or drop out altogether. Other studies have attributed child poverty to increased criminal activity and juvenile delinquency, as well as health problems due to incompetent parental care and unhealthy living conditions (Pressman 323-24). One possible solution to the childhood poverty issue, as suggested by Pressman, is child or family allowances. These allowances are defined

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