Commercial Appeal (Tennessee), June 22, 2008: Poverty prevails in Mid-South states; DeSoto defies statistics

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By Jimmie Covington

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Mid-South states of Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee rank low in incomes and high in poverty among the nation’s 50 states, according to statistics in the Statistical Abstract of the United States.

The abstract is a publication of the U.S. Census Bureau but uses information from various sources.

The state rankings are based on 2005 dollars.

The personal income per capita figures and rankings are: Mississippi, $24,925 (49th); Arkansas, $26,641 (47th), and Tennessee, $30,952 (36th).

Connecticut ranked No. 1 with $47,519, and Louisiana was 50th with $24,592. The national average was $34,495.

The median household income statistics are Mississippi, $32,938 (50th); Arkansas, $34,999 (48th), and Tennessee, $38,874 (42nd).

New Jersey ranked first at $61,672, and the national median was $42,242.

The poverty rates and rankings are: Mississippi, 21.3 percent (first); Arkansas, 17.2 (sixth), and Tennessee, 15.5 (11th). New Hampshire was 50th at 7.5 percent, and the national rate was 13.3.

As other statistics have shown through the years, the economic picture in DeSoto County is much better than it is in Mississippi as a whole.

The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey figures for DeSoto County in 2005 show the median household income at $50,454 and the poverty rate at 9.2 percent.

The 2005 ACS statistics show Shelby County’s median household income at $40,839 and the poverty rate at 18.3 percent.

— Jimmie Covington: (662) 996-1406

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