Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Georgia has one of the largest areas of severe poverty in the United States. This extreme isolation of the poorest Georgians can only make matters wor
With a poverty rate of 13.7%, Georgia has the 15th highest poverty rate in the United States, which is slightly better than North Carolina and slightly behind Montana.
The most critical levels of poverty in Georgia primarily occurs in the southwestern corner, and it stretches across Georgia in a northeastern direction until it hits the Atlantic Ocean at Burke County (see map below article).
This is a very rural region of southern Georgia with averages of 10 to 30 people per square mile. The average population density for Georgia is 141.4 people per square mile.
There are 36 counties in Georgia where poverty has reached critical levels. Also, out of Georgia's 20 major cities, nine of them have critical poverty rates.
Major cities (25,000 or more people) with poverty rates at critical levels are the followingAlbany (27.1%)
East Point (20.7%)
La Grange (21.4%)
When there are so many regions of Georgia deviating so far from the state average poverty rate of 13.7% it shows that the extremely poor in the state are being isolated. When this isolation occurs, the areas in which they live can become stigmatized.
This negative stigma of the areas discourages businesses from investing in the region, which causes a rise in unemployment. It will also make the areas unattractive choices for teachers and health care professionals, leading to poor quality education and health care.
In the rural areas of Georgia this very isolation leads to a lack of information. This lack of information is caused by both geographical distances from any major city, and a lack of interest from politicians.
In the urban areas of Georgia, this negative stigma of the poor neighborhoods leads to an increase in crime, decreased and/or negative levels of attention from police, and very low wage jobs.
All of these problems make extreme poverty in the areas continually worse and harder to escape from.
Now the majority of these counties & cities are overwhelmingly democratic & have a high African-American Population.(1) Hancock Co. (2) Macon Co. (3) Randolph Co. are the top three poorest counties in the state of Georgia & things are not getting any better.
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