Nonmetro areas have had a higher rate of poverty than metro areas since the 1960s (when poverty rates were first officially recorded). Over time, however, the difference between nonmetro and metro poverty rates has generally narrowed, falling from an average difference of 4.5 percentage points in the 1980s to 3 percentage points in 2014. In 2014, the nonmetro poverty rate stood at 18.1 percent, while the metro rate was 15.1 percent.
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