Washington, D.C. — A new report released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund provides a comparative look at how all 50 states and the District of Columbia rank on various indicators of poverty, offers a state-by-state view of how effectively each state is combating poverty, and provides states with recommendations to strengthen poverty reduction efforts.
The report tracks 15 indicators of poverty—such as the overall poverty rate, child poverty rate, income inequality, unemployment rate, lack of health insurance coverage, higher-education attainment rate, and hunger and food insecurity, among others—and ranks the states and the District of Columbia on each individual indicator. In 2013, New Hampshire, Alaska, Maryland, Connecticut, and Hawaii had the lowest overall poverty rate, while Mississippi, New Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Georgia had the highest overall poverty rate.
“Even though our economy is growing again, far too many families are not seeing any benefits. Millions of Americans living in poverty or on the brink of poverty still face low and stagnant wages and struggle to meet basic needs and save for the future,” said Melissa Boteach, Vice President of Half in Ten at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Although some states are leading the charge to cut poverty and grow the middle class through common-sense measures such as raising the minimum wage and expanding Medicaid, there remains enormous work to be done to build an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few.”
In November, the Half in Ten Campaign—a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the Coalition on Human Needs—released a comprehensive report on how state anti-poverty efforts, such as increasing the minimum wage and guaranteeing paid sick leave to workers, are building national momentum for poverty reduction. However, while many states have made advances in poverty reduction, the national poverty rate still remains unacceptably high at 14.5 percent, with some 45.3 million Americans living in poverty.
Read the report: State of the States Report 2014: Local Momentum for National Change to Cut Poverty and Inequality by Sarah Baron
For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Chelsea Kiene at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-478-5328.