The Carolina Public Press, an independent, non-profit news outlet that concentrates on the western part of the state, published an interesting series this week on poverty in North Carolina’s mountains in light of the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty.
The rural mountain areas consistently see poverty rates that climb above the state averages. (The federal poverty line is generally described as a household of four living on less than $24,000 a year, or a single adult earning less than $11,000 annually.)
The fact that the North Carolina mountain counties are still contending with high rates of poverty isn’t a huge surprise to many in the state , but the report (click here to read) included some interesting charts showing just where and how deeply entrenched the poverty is.
All but two of the 18 western North Carolina counties had poverty rates that topped the national average of 15.9 percent.
Nearly all the private-sector employers in most mountain counties were small businesses.
And, finally, poverty is steadily increasing in the state, bringing us close to the levels of the late 1960s when the War on Poverty began.
Take a look at the entire series here.