Oklahoma’s Poverty

From the Community Action Project, based in Tulsa:

August 29, 2006

Census Bureau Shows State Poverty Rate at Ten-Year

High

High Rates of Poverty, Uninsured Show Many Being

Left Behind


New data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau

reveals an alarming increase in the number of

Oklahomans living in poverty, according to a press

release issued by Community Action Project (CAP).


The annual "Poverty Day" data released by the

Census Bureau reveals that:


+ Over the period of 2005-06, an average of 15.4%

of Oklahomans lived below the federal poverty

level. This is up sharply from 13.2% in 2004-05

and 11.8% in 2003-04;


+ Oklahoma's rising poverty trend differs from the

nation's as a whole; nationally, poverty rates

have declined modestly the past two years;


+ At 15.4%, Oklahoma's most recent poverty rate is

at a ten-year peak;


+ An average of 537,000 Oklahomans have been

living in poverty the past two years;


+ County-level data reveals that Oklahoma County

is suffering the worst concentration of poverty of

the state's metropolitan counties, with 22.1% of

the county's residents falling below the poverty

line in 2006;


+ Median household income in Oklahoma in 2006 was

$38,276, which is $10,175, or 21% below the

national median household income;


+ The Census Bureau today also released data on

health insurance coverage revealing that an

average of 650,000 Oklahomans, or 18.7%, were

without health insurance for the period from

2004-06.

Yep, We’re poor.

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