Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Several Mississippi Counties Top List of Most Disadvantaged Areas in the Country

Mississippi communities are among the most disadvantaged in the nation, based on income levels, health and social mobility, according to a recent study.

A recent analysis by researchers at the University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions initiative and Princeton University’s Center for Research on Child Wellbeing created a nationwide index for counties it found to be at a "deep disadvantage" in the country.

The study looked at poverty and deep poverty rates, life expectancy and low birth rates, among other factors.
It revealed five separate counties in Mississippi in the top 10 list as the most poor areas in the nation.

 
Those counties and their rank are:
  • 3. Claiborne County
  • 4. Issaquena County
  • 5. Holmes County
  • 7. Leflore County
  • 9. Coahoma County
The study also listed a total 21 counties in the state in its top 100 index, which represents more than 20% of the entire country. 

Child hunger in Mississippi is real: Let's solve the food insecurity problem.

The study— in its analysis— found three trends:

  •  Rural counties are much more likely to be disadvantaged. Of the top 100 most disadvantaged communities, 80 are rural—including 19 rural counties in Mississippi. Only nine are cities. This finding is significant because rural areas are more likely to lack infrastructure and investment to alleviate poverty.
  • Disadvantage is clustered and largely driven by historical context. Regions with high levels of disadvantage include the Mississippi Delta, the Cotton Belt, Appalachia, Tribal Nation Lands, areas near the Texas-Mexico border and the Rust Belt cities of Cleveland; Detroit; Flint, Michigan; and Gary, Indiana. One theme across these areas of deep disadvantage is a long history of racial and environmental exploitation.
  • Disparities in health and economic outcomes: In terms of health, people living in the most disadvantaged areas are more likely to die a full 10 years before their counterparts in the most advantaged areas. The average poverty rate of the 100 most disadvantaged communities (34.8%) is more than four times higher than the poverty rate among the 100 most advantaged communities (7.3%).
All five Mississippi counties in the top 10 are along the Mississippi River. Four of the counties in the top 10 are located in South Dakota, home to the Native American Sovereign Tribal Nations.