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Benton County Has State’s Lowest Poverty Rate, Lee County Has Highest

ARKANSAS (TB&P) — Census Bureau estimates show the poverty rate fell nationally from 2017 to 2018, but rose half a percent in Arkansas. Meanwhile, the estim...
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ARKANSAS (TB&P) — Census Bureau estimates show the poverty rate fell nationally from 2017 to 2018, but rose half a percent in Arkansas. Meanwhile, the estimated median household incomes rose both in Arkansas and in the U.S.

Benton County Has State’s Lowest Poverty Rate, Lee County Has Highest

According to a U.S. Census Bureau report released in December, Arkansas’ percentage of residents living in poverty rose from 16.3% to 16.8%. The national rate fell from 13.4% to 13.1%.

The poverty rate is $25,750 for a family of four. The report came from the Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates program.

However, the data collections are an inexact science, leading to estimates based on what the Census Bureau calls a “90% confidence interval.” The estimates are based off American Community Survey samples, which the Census Bureau acknowledges can lead to errors. Moreover, the Census Bureau says its sampling model does not fit all counties nationwide, but it does not know which ones.

For Arkansas, that interval ranges from 16.3% to 17.3% for 2018, and from 15.9% to 16.7% for 2017. Taking the lowest poverty rate from 2018 and the highest rate from 2017, it’s possible the state’s poverty level actually fell .4% that year.

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