Monday, October 05, 2009

Indiana sees a jump in poverty level in 2008

Your blogger's home state of Michigan has seen many jobs go to Indiana instead of coming here. Indiana seems to do a good job of attracting business down there thanks to favorable tax breaks.

But Indiana' proximity to Detroit means it was reliant on the auto industry as well. The effects of the car bankruptcy's has hit Indiana hard according to the US Census Bureau.

In another of our series of the Community Surveys, Indianapolis Star Press gives us the results for Indiana.

The percentage of Hoosiers living in poverty increased to 13.1 percent in 2008, up from 12.3 percent the year before, according to the Census Bureau's annual American Community Survey.

That survey estimates that more than 807,000 Hoosiers were living in poverty in 2008, up from 757,000 in 2007.

The numbers are particularly disturbing for black and Hispanic Hoosiers. In 2007, 25.5 percent of blacks and 22.2 percent of Hispanics lived below the poverty line, compared with 10.4 percent of whites. But this year's survey shows those numbers have climbed to 28.1 percent of blacks and 23.7 percent of Hispanics. The percentage of whites rose more slowly, to 11 percent.

Experts who work with the homeless and help distribute food stamps say Indiana's increased poverty rates reflect what they've seen since last year: More Hoosiers are struggling to make ends meet and feed their families.

"These numbers are directly related to what we've been seeing, that's for sure," said Rich Adams, deputy director of the state's Division of Family Resources, which distributes food stamps. "We've seen a steady increase in the number of people needing food stamps for the last several years."

The census survey found that California, Florida, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Hawaii and Connecticut also had significant statistical increases in their poverty rates.

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