Nine days ago, we highlighted the Census Bureau's most recent report on poverty levels in the US. But Catherine Rampall's writing at the New York Times Economix blog steered us toward the Census's state-by-state data on poverty levels from 2008 to 2009, and there are some interesting highlights, (or rather, lowlights, as there aren't any states where we saw the poverty rate decline in a meaningful way from 2008 to 2009). Report authors Alemayehu Bishaw and Suzanne Macartney write:
Poverty rates from the 2009 ACS for the 50 states and the District of Columbia ranged from a low of 8.5 percent in New Hampshire to a high of 21.9 percent in Mississippi.
Only five states had estimated poverty rates lower than 10 percent— Alaska, Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, and New Jersey. On the other side of the distribution five states had estimated poverty rates at or above 17 percent in 2009— Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
Thirty-one states experienced increases in both the number and percentage of people in poverty between the 2008 ACS and the 2009 ACS. No state had a statistically significant decline in either the number in poverty or the poverty rate.
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia saw no statistically significant differences in either the number of people in poverty or the poverty rate from the 2008 ACS to the 2009 ACS—Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Here's a look at the poverty rates by state in a map from the report:
You can access the report here.