Skip to main content

Which are the Poorest Counties in America and PA (Based on the Federal Poverty Level)?

Blank US MapDespite the many flaws in the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), a new article and interactive map from the New York Times showing poverty in the United States by county is worth a look. According to the article, Ziebach County, South Dakota, holds the dubious honor of being the poorest county in the country, with 54.4 percent of residents living below the FPL.

Here in Pennsylvania, the county with the highest level of poverty is Forest County (in northwest PA) with 24.2 percent of residents living below the FPL, followed by Philadelphia with 23.8 percent and Fayette County with 20.8 percent.

While Forest County has the highest number of residents living below the poverty level, the most children living below the FPL are in Fayette County, where 33.9 percent of residents under age 18 live in poverty.

As always when looking at the FPL, it is important to remember that here are also families who are being overlooked that are in need. In general, the FPL underestimates the number of those earning less than what they need, which in turn undermines the ability to locate and serve families in crisis. For instance, in Pennsylvania in 2007, about 9% of households fell below the FPL, but 21% of households actually earned less than what they need at a minimum to support their families.

To learn more about the needs of families in every county in PA, please read our Self-Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania and Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania (and let us know what you think in the comments!).


Popular posts from this blog

Are You Registered to Vote?

As we get closer to the November elections, Google searches on how to register are increasing, which begs the question: Are you registered? Do you know how to sign up?

Pennsylvania and many other states require voter registration before Election Day - in Pennsylvania's case, voters must be registered one month ahead of time.  So if you recently moved, just turned 18, haven't voted in a while, or never registered before, the time to sign up is now.

PathWays PA has partnered with Rock the Vote to offer voter registration through this blog! You can fill out the form below to register or to make sure that you are registered.

Please take the time to register, and also consider pledging to vote in support of your economic values at!

PS - click here to share a voter registration link on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!

Register Now for National Audio Conferences on Job Scheduling

From our friends at CLASP Register now for three national audio conferences on job scheduling! Job schedules matter in many ways. For all workers, it helps when an employer is responsive to a request for a needed schedule change. And far too many workers have volatile and potentially destabilizing schedules. If you don't know when you are supposed to be at work until the last minute, how do you arrange child care or transportation? If your total hours fluctuate from week to week, how do you budget for rent and food? To address these issues and emerging policy opportunities, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is hosting and sponsoring three Job Schedules Matter audio conferences.

The conferences, which are co-sponsored by the Center for Popular Democracy and the National Women's Law Center, will include comments from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman George Miller on why they introduced the Schedules that Work Act. You'll also hear from workers about th…

Register for FRAC's Federal Nutrition Program Conference Calls

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) will host two public conference calls in October. Information on the calls follows below:
Breakfast Matters - Effective Messaging: Getting Positive Press in your Community

Thursday October 11, 3 – 4 pm ET
Click here to register.
Learn tips from a national communications firm about how to place your stories with local media and receive positive press coverage for your program.

Presenters: * Jon Dickl, School Nutrition Director, Knox County Schools, Tennessee
* Amber LaCroix, BRG Communications

Afterschool Meals Matter - Community Partnerships
Wednesday, October 17, at 1:00 pm EST

Click here to register.
Learn how you can connect with a myriad of community partners, from parent groups to corporate volunteer programs, who can offer you and your program their time, energy, and support. Community partners can assist you with meal preparation, programming, outreach to increase your participation, and ultimately to help build up community support and in…