Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oklahoma saw a decline in poverty in 2008

One area that saw improvement in poverty levels before the recession was Tulsa, Oklahoma. In fact, the poverty level dropped for the entire state in 2008, except for the senior population.

From the Tulsa World, Curtis Kilman breaks down the US Census Bureau numbers, and the fears for 2009.

Tulsa County residents whose income in 2008 was below the poverty level declined from 16.2 percent of the population in 2006 to 13.8 percent in 2008, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Statewide, an estimated 15.9 percent of the population was living in poverty in 2008, compared to a 17 percent poverty rate in 2006.

The latest census figures indicate "some progress" was made in terms of fewer families in poverty, said David Blatt, policy director for the Oklahoma Policy Institute.

"Clearly you still see a substantial segment of the population that is living in dire circumstances," Blatt said.

The poverty threshold in 2008 was an annual income of about $22,000 for a four-person family.

In the city of Tulsa, an estimated 18.3 percent of the population was living in poverty in 2008, census data indicates. In 2006, 20.3 percent, or one in five city residents lived in poverty.

A greater percentage of the population lived in poverty in Tulsa than in Oklahoma City, where 16.4 percent of the residents were poor in 2008.

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