Dylan Scott is a GOVERNING staff writer.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Poverty rates rose in almost every state in the United States from 2009 to 2010, according to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday.
Nationally, the number of poor increased by 1 percentage point, from 14.3 to 15.3, meaning 3.3 million more people entered poverty over the year. An estimated 46.2 million people are now impoverished in the United States. Mississippi held the highest rate in the nation with 22.4 percent of its population in poverty. New Mexico followed with 20.4 percent. A total of 23 states had poverty rates at or above the national average.
Estimates for each state were compiled from the bureau's annual American Community Survey.
Montana and New Hampshire were the only states with a decrease in the number of impoverished people. New Hampshire boasted the lowest poverty rate in the nation at 8.3 percent. Alaska and Maryland tied for second-lowest with 9.9 percent
The Census report also broke down the metropolitan areas with the lowest and highest poverty rates. The Rio Grande Valley region in Texas, comprised of McAllen, Edinburg and Mission, recorded the highest rate by a full six percentage points with 33.4 of its residents in poverty. The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area had the lowest number of people in poverty at 8.4 percent.
View 2009 and 2010 poverty estimates for each state: