Nonmetro families in deep poverty reached a 20-year high in 2009

A chart showing the percentage of U.S. nonmetro families in moderate and deep poverty, years 1990 to 2009.

The 2007-09 recession was particularly severe in the depth of poverty it engendered. The number of nonmetro residents living in poverty increased more than 8 percent between 2007 and 2009 to 8.1 million (a 16.6-percent poverty rate). Of these, an estimated 3.3 million (6.7 percent of the nonmetro population) were in deep poverty in 2009, up nearly 13 percent from 2007. The number of nonmetro residents living in poverty rose markedly in the previous two recessions as well (as measured by 1989-91 and 2000-02 annual data). Yet, the change in the deep poverty count was substantially higher during the 2007-09 recession. This chart appeared in the June 2011 issue of Amber Waves magazine.

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