High Povery Counties Hit by Tornadoes

This is a repost from Alabama Possible’s Kristina Scott and the Alabama Poverty Project:

HIGH POVERTY AREAS HIT HARD BY TORNADOES: 32 of 38 Counties on disaster list have above-average poverty
BIRMINGHAM – 32 of the 38 Alabama counties that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declared eligible for individual disaster assistance have poverty rates higher than the national average.

“Natural disasters hit high poverty communities the hardest,” says Kristina Scott, Executive Director of the Alabama Poverty Project (APP). “They are more vulnerable to personal injury and property damage when a storm hits, have fewer financial resources and are more likely to experience severe mental health impacts, including post-traumatic stress disorder.”

According to the US Census Bureau, 14.3 percent of Americans live below the federal poverty threshold. The poverty threshold is determined by age and number of people in a household and was $21,756 for a two-adult, two-child household in 2009, the most recent year for which poverty data is available.

The Census Bureau also reports that 17.5 percent of Alabamians live in poverty. Ten of the tornado-impacted counties have poverty rates greater than 20 percent, including Choctaw (22.8 percent), DeKalb (21.7 percent), Franklin (21.8 percent), Greene (28.4 percent), Hale (26.6 percent), Marengo (24.9 percent), Marion (21.2 percent), Pickens (28 percent), Sumter (35.1 percent) and Winston Counties (24.9 percent). A full list of impacted counties with key poverty data is attached. More information is also available on the APP website at http://alabamapossible.org/datasheet/.

In their 2004 report “Poverty and Disasters in the United States,” Sociologists Alice Fothergill and Lori Peek conclude that while poor individuals are more likely to perceive hazards as risky, they are less likely to prepare for hazards or buy insurance; less likely to respond to warnings; more likely to die, suffer injuries, and have proportionately higher material losses; have more psychological trauma; and face more obstacles during the phases of response, recovery, and reconstruction.

In response to the catastrophic tornadoes, APP is compiling resources for individuals to give, volunteer and advocate for those impacted by the storms. They are regularly updated and available at http://alabamapossible.org/tornadorelief.

About the Alabama Poverty Project:

Alabama is the sixth poorest state in the nation. The Alabama Poverty Project (APP) mobilizes Alabamians to eliminate poverty through strategic relationships with faith communities, higher education institutions and civic organizations. For information and resources, visit our website, http://alabamapossible.org.

###

Poverty Rate

All Persons 1 Children 2 Seniors 2 Female Headed Households 2
United States 14.3% 20.0% 9.7% 37.1%
Alabama 17.5% 24.6% 11.8% 45.1%

Autauga 11.2% 16.2% 7.8% 28.3%
Bibb 18.1% 25.7% 12.8% 49.7%
Blount 14.6% 20.4% 12.1% 39.6%
Calhoun 19.0% 26.7% 10.6% 52.6%
Cherokee 18.4% 28.1% 7.7% 52.8%
Chilton 18.7% 27.5% 10.0% 38.0%
Choctaw 22.8% 29.8% N/A N/A
Colbert 16.0% 24.8% 9.2% 48.6%
Coosa 16.7% 25.4% N/A N/A
Cullman 19.3% 25.7% 13.5% 39.4%
DeKalb 21.7% 32.0% 15.5% 41.5%
Elmore 14.2% 19.2% 9.9% 29.6%
Etowah 17.2% 26.6% 12.0% 45.7%
Fayette 19.6% 26.9% N/A N/A
Franklin 21.8% 29.7% 12.6% 50.7%
Greene 28.4% 39.7% N/A N/A
Hale 26.6% 35.4% N/A N/A
Jackson 16.4% 24.3% 15.9% 38.9%
Jefferson 16.5% 22.9% 11.1% 36.2%
Lamar 18.2% 25.8% N/A N/A
Lauderdale 14.5% 21.8% 8.0% 48.9%
Lawrence 16.2% 22.9% 10.9% 44.1%
Limestone 13.5% 19.1% 11.3% 32.4%
Madison 10.3% 14.7% 6.3% 36.4%
Marengo 24.9% 32.3% 15.2% 46.4%
Marion 21.2% 30.9% 14.8% 70.5%
Marshall 19.1% 26.2% 14.2% 54.3%
Morgan 15.9% 23.2% 12.6% 41.9%
Pickens 28.0% 34.1% N/A N/A
Shelby 6.9% 9.9% 4.9% 20.1%
St. Clair 13.8% 19.3% 10.3% 35.0%
Sumter 35.1% 42.3% N/A N/A
Talladega 18.9% 26.5% 15.3% 51.3%
Tallapoosa 17.8% 28.1% 9.2% 48.8%
Tuscaloosa 19.9% 22.6% 10.5% 47.9%
Walker 16.0% 22.9% 13.9% 49.8%
Washington 19.3% 26.5% N/A N/A
Winston 24.9% 36.4% 17.2% 53.8%
1 U.S. Census Bureau, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (2009)
2 U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates (2007-2009)

This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>