Economic Research Report No. (ERR-208) 33 pp

May 2016

Understanding the Rise in Rural Child Poverty, 2003-14

The U.S. rural child poverty rate declined in the 1990s but has been rising since 2003, increasing through the recession of 2008-09 and peaking at 26.7 percent in 2012. Rural child poverty fell between 2012 and 2014 but remained above pre-recession levels. Adverse income-distribution changes (rising income inequality), more than a decline in average income, explain the rise in child poverty.

Keywords: Poverty, rural child poverty, nonmetropolitan poverty, Current Population Survey, American Community Survey, income inequality, average income, recession, recovery, demographic change

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