Poverty rate levels off, census shows

By: - September 1, 2005 4:45 am

Winton-Salem Journal
Health-care figures, median income also hold steady, it says


After several years of worsening conditions driven by heavy job losses in textiles and manufacturing, the number of North Carolinians living in poverty and those without health insurance leveled off in 2004, according to census figures.

North Carolinians living be-low the poverty threshold of $19,157 for a family of four remained at 15 percent in the two-year period ending in 2004, census figures released Tuesday show. The proportion without health coverage dropped slightly to 16.5 percent.

After sliding for several years, the median income of $39,428 also leveled off, a positive note for a state that lost one in four manufacturing jobs – 181,000 – in recent years.

Advocates for the poor acknowledge that jobs are coming back but say that the numbers reveal that the state has a way to go to regain prerecession levels. (more…)

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Chris Fitzsimon

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina. [email protected] 919-861-2066