Small Dip in State’s Poverty Rate, But Still Above National Average

The state’s poverty rate dropped slightly last year, even as the national rate jumped to 46 million people. Tennessee still has some of the highest poverty numbers in the nation.

According to new numbers from the Census Bureau, about 77-thousand fewer Tennesseans are living in poverty. However, the number is still higher than before the recession. In the last year, the state’s jobless rate has fallen. Also, some of the state’s poorest communities have announced new efforts to tackle poverty. Memphis mayor AC Wharton will soon unveil a plan he says will cut the city’s poverty rate by 10 percent in a decade. Today’s Census report also showed a decrease in poverty across the South in the last three years, but the region is still the nation’s poorest. More than 18 million southerners live below the poverty line. The Census Bureau’s figures are based on the federal poverty line, which is about $23,000 for a family of four.

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