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In The Long Run

Nonmetro poverty rates higher than metro

The nonmetro poverty rate has exceeded the metro rate every year since poverty was first officially measured in the 1960s. Generally, metro and nonmetro poverty follow the same trends over time. The nonmetro poverty rate fell through the 1970s, and then both metro and nonmetro poverty rates began to increase with the 1980-82 recession. In the early 1990s, poverty rates began to fall, but since 2000 they have begun to edge up. Poverty estimates from 2006, the most recent year available, show the metro-nonmetro gap increasing, with nonmetro poverty at 15.2 percent and metro at 11.8 percent.