Harlan, Bell counties highlight new Census report

Published 3:25 am Wednesday, December 12, 2018

A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau features detailed profiles of more than 40 social, economic, housing and demographic topics in the U.S. from 2013 to 2017. The American Community Survey is the only full set of data available for the 2,316 least-populated counties in the country, whose populations are too small to produce a complete set of single-year estimates. Highlights from the report:

All five of the counties with the lowest median household incomes (with populations over 10,000) were rural: Holmes County, Mississippi; Sumter County, Alabama; and Bell, Harlan and McCreary counties in southeastern Kentucky.

Poverty rates declined in 441 of the nation’s 3,142 counties and increased in 264 from the 2008-2012 period to 2013-17.

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The overall poverty rate was 14.6 percent in 2013-17, compared to 14.9 percent in 2008-12.

On average, rural areas had higher poverty rates than urban areas.

Counties with the lowest internet subscription rates tended to be in rural areas in the upper Plains, the Southwest and the South.

Twenty of the 24 counties with populations above 10,000 with the lowest level of home broadband subscriptions were classified as mostly rural or completely rural.

The Rural Blog is published by the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues.