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September 19, 2013

Virginia Kids Bear Brunt of Poverty

The pain of the recession continues to linger in Virginia, with 931,800 Virginians living in poverty in 2012, according to new data released today by the Census Bureau. That’s 189,000 more than in 2007, before the recession began.

Children are bearing the brunt. More than one in seven Virginia children lives in a family with fewer resources than the official poverty line, which in 2012 was $23,050 a year for a family of four. And tens of thousands more live in families who earn enough to be above that low threshold but below the amount needed to really support a family.


While the overall number of Virginians and the number of Virginia children living in poverty are much higher than before the recession, those numbers did not increase significantly in 2012 compared to 2011. But, overall poverty did increase significantly in the Harrisonburg and Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metropolitan areas, and child poverty increased significantly in those areas and in Charlottesville.

But, looking across the state, no metropolitan area has seen a decrease in poverty since the recession began, and some have seen significant increases, namely the Harrisonburg, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, Roanoke, Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, and Richmond metro areas.

No matter how you slice it, though, five years after the start of the “Great Recession,” too many Virginia families are still struggling to find work and support their families.

Table: Poverty, Child Poverty and Deep Poverty by Metropolitan Area

Levi Goren

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