250,000 Alabama children live in poverty, state ranked 6th poorest in U.S.

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Despite ever-improving unemployment numbers, Alabama’s economy continues to lag behind the rest of the nation’s.

That’s according to a new report by Alabama Possible, a statewide nonprofit organization that removes barriers to prosperity through education, collaboration, and advocacy.

The group released their 2018 Alabama Poverty Data Sheet on Tuesday, which revealed the Yellowhammer State is the sixth poorest state in the U.S. According to their findings, Alabama’s median household income is just $46,309, which translates to $11,308 less than the national median household income.

Poverty in Alabama isn’t just secluded to one part of the state — over 800,000 Alabamians live below the poverty line, which is $24,257 for a family of four — and according to the report, 15 of Alabama’s 67 counties have a poverty rate higher than 25 percent.

Poverty rate in Alabama_2018

Poverty rate in Alabama [Photo Credit: Alabama Possible]

Key findings

  • 17.2 percent of Alabamians live below the federal poverty line – a noticeably larger percentage than the national average of 14 percent
  • Alabama’s median household income for African Americans is $21,165 less than white families’ median household income
  • 250,000 Alabama children live in poverty
  • Alabama’s child food insecurity rate is 22.5 percent, which is higher than the national average of 17.5 percent.
  • Alabama has a notably high food insecurity rate at 17.7 percent.

Improvement

Alabama Possible, did note that there is good news to share. The 2018 poverty rate is at its lowest rate since they started publishing the Alabama Poverty Data Sheet in 2010.
“It is encouraging to see that fewer Alabamians live in poverty year-over-year, but we still have 800,000 friends and neighbors who face significant barriers to prosperity,” said Kristina Scott, executive director of Alabama Possible, in a news release “It is also deeply concerning to see that the median household income for people of color in Alabama is roughly $15,000 – $20,000 lower than the median household income for white citizens. We must advocate for equitable systems that will dismantle poverty and promote prosperity for all Alabamians.”
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