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Study finds rural poverty higher

Study finds rural poverty higher Click to Enlarge Photo: Jupiterimages, Photos.com

May 15, 2012 at 8:00 am

LYONS, NE (KNSI) - A new report from the Center for Rural Affairs found poverty rates in the Midwest and Great Plains are generally higher in rural counties than in the urban centers in the region.

"There are generally fewer economic opportunities in small rural communities in the region," center spokesman Jon Bailey said, "The jobs that exist are generally low wage work, so that makes for a lower income and a better chance of poverty levels."

With some additions, Bailey says the 2012 Farm Bill can become a helping hand in the rural development effort.

"Unfortunately right now early versions of the farm bill, literally have no resources, no funding for rural development initiatives," Bailey said. "So we need to change that as the farm bill moves through congress in ways that allow rural areas and rural communities to help create these jobs and economic opportunities."

The analysis by the Center for Rural Affairs looked at 10 states in the Central U.S., including Minnesota, and found that more than 13 percent of the rural population was living in poverty in 2010. That includes nearly 150,000 children.

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