District poverty levels on the decline

Naomi Cytron

Published July 1, 2003  | July 2003 issue

The percentage of families earning incomes below the poverty line has declined over the past 40 years in the nation and across Ninth District states, with all states but Montana reaching all-time lows in 1999. Although South Dakota has displayed a relatively constant decrease in family poverty rates, that state, along with Montana, remained above the national average of 9.2 percent in 1999. All other district states weighed in below the national average in 1999, with Minnesota, at 5.1 percent, claiming the lowest family poverty rate in the district, followed closely by Wisconsin at 5.6 percent. Overall, though, family poverty rates across district states have converged toward the national average since 1959.

Chart: Families in Poverty
Source: U.S. Census Bureau