Thursday, October 20, 2005

Distribution of Poverty in Utah by County

It turns out that poverty in Utah is mostly found in counties with small populations but that about half of the small counties have poverty rates below the national average and the other half have poverty rates above. The most populous counties in Utah have poverty rates below the national average. The poverty line for a family of four in 2000 was an income of $18,104 or less. That works out to be $8 an hour-ish. The state-wide poverty rate is 9.7 while the national average is 12.1. But, 10 of 29 counties in Utah have poverty rates above the national average. The 10 counties are: Piute, San Juan, Grand, Iron, Sanpete, Duschene, Wayne, Carbon, Sevier and Uintah. All numbers taken from the the 2000 census.

The poverty rate in a county tends to fall as the county population increases, but the corrolation is weak both at the National and Utah state levels. The scatter plot below shows the correlation between county population and poverty rates. Note that the county population is shown using a log scale.

The 6 most populous Utah Counties (Salt Lake, Utah, Davis, Weber, Cache and Washington) have poverty rates below the national average. Piute county has the highest poverty rate at 15.3 and is the second least populous county with 1,435 people in the 2000 census. There are notable exceptions. Daggett county has 921 people (lowest in the state) but has poverty rate of only 8.1 (7th lowest in the state).


The Senate Site said...

Interesting stats.

John Valentine (President of the Senate) just submitted an op-ed piece on how tax reform could impact low income families. Watch for it in Sunday's Herald Journal.

Take care.

The Senate Site said...

P.S. How do you pronounce Utahania?

Mike Jones said...

I'll look for the op-ed piece, poverty in utah is an interesting thing because of the welfare reform in the 90's and help available in the private sector for church organizations.

I pronounce Utahania as "you-tah-a-nee-uh" In general "thing"ania is small interesting stuff related to "thing"