The ranks of the poor rose in almost all U.S. states and cities in 2010, despite the end of the longest and deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression the year before, U.S. Census data released on Thursday showed.
Mississippi and New Mexico had the highest poverty rates, with more than one out of every five people in each state living in poverty. Mississippi’s poverty rate led, at 22.4 percent, followed by New Mexico at 20.4 percent.
New Hampshire had the lowest poverty rate, at 8.3 percent, making it the only state with a poverty rate below 10 percent.
Twelve states had poverty rates above 17 percent, up from five in 2009, while poverty rates in 10 metropolitan areas topped 18 percent, the data showed.
“We saw the recession hit and unemployment increase, but we haven’t seen a dramatic drop in unemployment,” said Elizabeth Kneebone, a senior research associate focusing on metropolitan issues at the Brookings Institution.
“Because we’re still in this weak recovery, we could see these numbers get worse before they get better,” she added….