Poverty rate highest in Mississippi

BILOXI — Mississippi ranks highest in the nation for the number of people living in poverty.

The Census Bureau;s 2009 American Community Survey used data from 3 million households to put Mississippi at the top of the list, with 21.9 percent of state residents below the poverty level in 2009. That's up from 21.2 percent in 2008.

Similar trends can be seen in South Mississippi. Census data from both the Gulfport-Biloxi and Pascagoula metropolitan areas shows the percentage of people and families living in poverty also is on the rise.

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