When people think of the War on Poverty, they often think of President Lyndon Johnson sitting on the front porch of a family’s home in Martin County, 肯塔基州在1964年. The news media at that time called the home a “cabin,” but Tom Fletcher’s home wasn’t a cabin. It was a house similar to most houses in eastern 肯塔基州 in the 1960s, and in fact, when NPR visited the Fletchers’ home in 2014, they found that the house really hadn’t changed that much.
The challenges we face in our region are old ones, and they are difficult to overcome due to the fact that the issues persist from one generation to the next. This is not because the people of eastern 肯塔基州 are not trying to overcome these challenges; they are, but generational poverty is complex, with many different factors and individual issues to address, and since it has taken decades to grow in families, it can often take that long or longer to change it.
• 39 of 肯塔基州’s 41 Persistent Poverty Counties are Appalachian (in eastern 肯塔基州).
• 48 of 肯塔基州’s 56 Persistent Child Poverty Counties are Appalachian (in eastern 肯塔基州).
• 38 of the 54 肯塔基州 Appalachian counties are distressed as per the Appalachian Regional Commission's (ARC) definition. (贫困县 are the most economically depressed counties. They rank in the worst 10 percent of the nation’s counties.) There are only 78 distressed counties in all of ARC’s area in which almost half of the distressed Appalachian counties in the nation are located in 肯塔基州.
• The 贫穷率 for Appalachian 肯塔基州 counties is 25.4% 相对于16.3% for 肯塔基州 as a whole and 13.美国为7%. 这意味着 294,911 people live in poverty in Appalachian 肯塔基州. 为视角, this is 92% of the population of Lexington, 肯塔基州 (肯塔基州’s second largest city by population).
• If something dreadful happened to the Louisville economy and Jefferson County’s 贫穷率 suddenly increased from its current rate of 14.2% to 25.4% (来自肯塔基州的阿巴拉契亚), 差不多有83个,000 additional people living in poverty in Jefferson County.
• 在我们的服务区，大约 1 in 6 households live on less than $10,000 dollars annually.
•在我们的服务区域， 42% of households earn less than $25,000 annually.
• The median income of our service area is approximately $45,600 compared to the median income of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th congressional district of approximately $58,238.
• 这意味着 for every dollar a middle-income family in central 肯塔基州 earns, a middle-income family in Appalachia earns just 78美分.
• The census data is generally not an effective way to measure housing quality (the right questions have not been asked), but you can use house values as a proxy measure. In our service area, 8,850 or nearly 44% of homeowner-occupied units are valued at less than $50,000.
• 肯塔基州 coal production decreased in 2016 by 29.9 percent from 2015, a level of production not seen since 1922. Eastern 肯塔基州 coal production decreased in 2016 by 39 percent from 2015. Production slowed at both underground and surface mines. Eastern 肯塔基州 production has declined by 87 percent since peak production in 1990. Over the last 30 years, eastern 肯塔基州 has lost 30,000 coal jobs. This has impacted about 1 in 8 workers and 1 in 9 households.