This AP story about the growth of Minnesota’s impoverished in the Trib today was interesting. Those of us in St. Louis County live in the epicenter of Minnesota poverty:
St. Louis County had the lowest median income of the counties covered by the yearly data with $41,800. It also had the highest poverty rate at 17.9 percent, followed by Ramsey County at 17.2 percent. The poverty line was defined in 2010 as about $22,000 in income for a family of four.
From 2009 to 2010 poverty among Minnesota children has jumped from 14.1% to 15.2%. Presumably in Duluth its much higher because we have an overall rate of better than 1 in 5 locals or 20%, living in poverty. The GOP answer to this would probably be that we should speed up our laws to require photo ID’s for these people to vote and suspend their right to election day registration.
This heads up from Andrew Sullivan’s blog is worth noting as he skewers the biggest “liberal” media outlet of them all, the Grey Lady, for refusing to explain a principal driver of the rising poverty rate among children – single parentood.
I did wonder about one determinant of the statistics where Duluth is concerned. How does the local college population affect Duluth’s overall statistics. On the face of it most students are pretty impoversished crowded into college tenement style rental housing and spending massive quanties of money without earning that much and often going into considerable debt for a degree. This is worth pondering because in the Days of Katherine Martin the influx in college students has leaped from steady to a flood. How does an addition of 3 or 4 thousand such residents to Duluth affect our poverty rates?
Sorry, I’m just asking because I’m too lazy to make inquiries.
It should be noted that if college students end up tilting the statistical level of poverty up that this is a bit of a statistical fraud. Most college students have families with fairly deep pockets which they can draw from. This is very different from the experience of real poor people who often have no reservoir to draw from in times of hardship.