The poor may be more difficult to reach because they lack the time and resources to attend meetings, or the skills needed to take advantage of educational materials and opportunities. The poor are also less likely to use information technology. While rural areas may have IT access, they usually do not have Broadband capability. The average national poverty rate increased in 2001, after falling for most of the previous decade.

Related factors include the condition of housing (age of the home, whether it is a mobile home, number of people per room, access to telephone, availability of plumbing, kitchen facilities and motor vehicles, etc.) as well as educational attainment and reliance on welfare payments. The general trend is one of reduced welfare dependence (as a result of the Welfare Reform Act or PRWORA of 1996) but stable or even increasing poverty percentages. Access to a vehicle, for example, can be an important determinant of whether or not a person can find and keep a job, especially in rural areas that lack public transportation.

Key variables

  • Per capita income in 1999 (dollars)
  • Income in 1999 below poverty levels; percent of population for whom poverty status is determined; all ages, related children under 18 years (child poverty rate); 65 years and over; and percent of families
  • Percent of homes that lack complete plumbing facilities or complete kitchen facilities
  • Percent of homes with no vehicles available
  • Percent of homes with no telephone service available
    • Geographic Comparison Table (where to find the data):
    • Income and Poverty and Structural and Facility Characteristics of Housing