By Alexandra Forter Sirota
Director, NC Budget & Tax Center
- Ten counties in North Carolina were persistently poor in 2000, meaning that they had high poverty rates (20 percent or more of their populations lived in poverty) every year for three decades (1970 to 2000).
- Persistent poverty has been concentrated in the eastern region of the state. These counties have had little diversification of employment, fewer teachers with advanced degrees, more housing stress due to lack of affordable housing stock and substandard conditions, and are underserved by health care providers.
- Living in a community of persistent poverty limits the opportunities of residents and represents a challenge to regional economic development and the state’s overall economic growth.