Appalachian Poverty is a major problem and it’s a problem that goes largely unnoticed by the rest of the country. This is partly due to lack of awareness and partly to do with the fact that country as a whole is trying to make an economic recovery. We hope that by seeing Appalachia’s economic statistics, more people will take notice and help spread word of Appalachia’s need.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) reports on Appalachian statistics such as poverty, income, and employment. According to their 2007-2011 report, poverty rates across the US was 14.3% compared to 16.1% in the Appalachian region of Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Even within these states there is quite a difference between poverty rates. For example, in Virginia the statewide rate is 10.7% versus an 18.1% rate for the Appalachian region. The state with the worst poverty rate in the region is Kentucky with a 24.8% rate versus 18.1% rate for the rest of the state.
After seeing that nearly a quarter of Kentuckians are below the poverty line, it would be easy to assume that the unemployment rate would be to blame but that isn’t the whole story. In 2011, the unemployment rate for the US and the Appalachian region was at 8.9% while Kentucky’s rate was only .7% higher. So it would be best to look at the per capita income of Appalachia against the entire US.
One of the main poverty issues of Appalachia stems from the fact that the employed population of these states make significantly lower amounts of money than the rest of the US. The per capita income of the Appalachian region of Kentucky is only $26,830 while the entire US sits at $39,973. The number for the region taken as a whole comes out to $32,645, which is only 81.7% of the US per capita income.
Increased investment in Appalachia is needed to fix the issues of employment and poverty. To get these investments awareness of the issues need to rise.
What You Can Do
Spread the Word: Tell your friends, family, and coworkers about Appalachia and Fahe.
Volunteer: Come out and help, meet the people, and let the experience change your life and theirs for the better.
Donate: A donation with Fahe goes a long way. We have worked in Appalachia for over 30 years and we know where to place your money where it will do the most good.
Invest: You can earn a competitive return and help those less fortunate. We have a 100% repayment track record to ever investor in our history.