13.5 percent of Mower County residents living in poverty

Published 12:06 pm Wednesday, December 15, 2010

According to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau Tuesday, about 13.5 percent of Mower County residents live below the poverty line.

In a new five-year survey called the American Community Survey, 13.5 percent of all Mower County residents earned less than the federal poverty guidelines, which vary depending on how big a person’s family is. About 10.1 percent of all families in the county were below the line as well.

Federal poverty guidelines shows a one-person family unit is in poverty if they make $10,830 or less. The poverty line is raised by about $4,500 or so for every person added to a family unit. About 19,400 people are eligible to work out of a possible workforce pool of 25,600 in Mower County.

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Mower County is in line with national averages, as 13.5 percent of the nation is below the poverty line as well, according to ACS data.

In addition, 10 percent of Minnesotans were living below the poverty line, with counties in the northwest part of the state struggling the most. That’s from the latest information from American Community Survey data gathered from 2005 to 2009 and released Tuesday.

Because the data are drawn from a survey, each estimate comes with a margin of error that makes ranking difficult.

However, the highest poverty counties of Mahnomen, Beltrami and Lake of the Woods were all in or near the American Indian reservations in northwestern Minnesota. The poverty rate was about 19 percent in all of them.

Nobles and Blue Earth counties in southern Minnesota rounded out the group.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report