When Liston Smith, director of Henderson County Department of Social Services, saw that Henderson County had the state's fourth highest increase in its poverty rate, he called the numbers profound.Read the full article
Smith said the rate increase from 2007 to 2010 reflects what his agency has been seeing since the economic turndown.
Henderson County's poverty rate has jumped from 10.2 percent in 2007 to 16.6 percent in 2010 — a change of 63 percent, according to numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The poverty rate is the percentage of the population living under the federal poverty line, which is defined as a household of four living on $22,314 a year, or an individual making less than $11,139.
Moore County had the highest rate increase at 140 percent, when the rate jumped from 7.7 percent in 2007 to 18.5 percent in 2010. Rowan and Lincoln counties followed, and Wake County rounded out the top five. Across the state of North Carolina, the jump in the poverty rate has been 22 percent, from 16.3 percent in 2007 to 17.5 percent in 2010.
“These figures are not good,” County Manager Steve Wyatt said. “It's not moving in the right direction.”