Which county has the state’s lowest poverty rate?

Published 4:36 pm Friday, June 15, 2018

Shelby County currently holds the lowest poverty rate in the state, according to recently released data gathered by a statewide nonprofit organization.

According to Alabama Possible’s 2018 Poverty Data Sheet, 7.9 percent of Shelby County residents live below the poverty line. Shelby County is also the only county in the state to have a poverty rate under 10 percent.

Out of the Shelby County residents that live under the poverty line, 9.9 percent of those are children and 5.4 percent of those are adults over the age of 65.

The majority of Shelby County residents over the age of 25 who live below the poverty line are African-American and do not have a high school diploma or a GED. Shelby County also currently holds an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent.

The data sheet also stated that, out of the 3,793 homeless persons living in Alabama, 1,092 of those live in Jefferson, St. Clair and Shelby Counties.

Over the past three years, the poverty rate in Shelby County has steadily decreased. In 2017, Shelby County held an 8.5 percent poverty rate, and in 2016, the county’s poverty rate was 9.6 percent.

Alabama is currently the sixth poorest state in the nation and more than 800,000 people statewide live below the poverty line.

“It is encouraging to see that fewer Alabamians live in poverty year-over-year, but we still have 800,000 friends and neighbors who face significant barriers to prosperity,” Alabama Possible Executive Director Kristina Scott said. “It is also deeply concerning to see that the median household income for people of color in Alabama is roughly $15,000 (to) $20,000 lower than the median household income of white citizens. We must advocate for equitable systems that will dismantle poverty and promote prosperity for all Alabamians.”

The data that was compiled by Alabama Possible was taken from reports by the United States Census Bureau, National Student Clearinghouse, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, USDA, Feeding America and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development