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Map Shows Mass. Poverty Changes, By County

Beset by the Great Recession, most Massachusetts counties saw their poverty rates increase slightly from 2007 to 2010, according to a map from Slate and the New America Foundation.

Twelve of the state's 14 counties had their poverty rates increase by between 0.7 and 4.3 percent, according to the map of census data, published Friday. Of the 14, Barnstable County's poverty rate increased the most over the three years, going from 6.6 percent to 10.9 percent. Bristol County's poverty rate increased the second-most, at 3.5 percent.

Suffolk County had the state's highest poverty rate in 2010: 22.6 percent.

According to the map, in 2010 poverty was defined as an income of less than $22,113 for a family of four.

Massachusetts' two outliers were Norfolk and Essex counties. Norfolk County's poverty rate fell from 6.4 percent to 6.3 percent, and Essex County's rate remained at 10.4 percent.

Compared to many other regions, according to the map, New England counties' poverty rates stayed relatively flat. One county in Oregon, for example, saw its rate jump 21.9 percent, while many counties across the Midwest witnessed slightly less poverty from 2007 to 2010.

This program aired on May 21, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Benjamin Swasey Twitter Digital Manager
Ben is WBUR's digital news manager.

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