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January 2010, Volume 16, Number 1

Poverty in Rural America, 2008

The 2008 American Community Survey

In 2008, 13.2 percent of US residents, and 16.3 percent of residents in rural counties, had incomes below the poverty line, which was $22,025 for a family of four. Poverty rose faster in rural than urban areas between 2003 and 2008. Rural counties have a sixth of US residents but accounted for a third of the three-million increase in poor US residents between 2003 and 2008. Most labor-intensive agriculture in the western states and Florida is in urban counties.