When It Comes To Child Poverty, Arizona Runs Counter To National Trends

By Carrie Jung
Published: Monday, December 12, 2016 - 7:31am

When it comes to child poverty rates, Arizona numbers run counter to national trends. The latest state statistics show a higher percentage of children in rural communities live in poverty than their urban counterparts.

According to recent census data, the child poverty rate in urban areas outpaces rural by about 4 percent. The opposite is the case in Arizona.

Joshua Oehler, a policy analyst with Children’s Action Alliance, said part of that has to do with the makeup of rural counties in this state.

Oehler said manufacturing historically carried those counties on the east coast. But in Arizona, rural counties like Apache and Navajo are made up largely of Native American reservations.

"The challenges and the structural impediments towards getting out of poverty in those areas are especially pernicious," Oehler explained. "So I think that’s probably some of the differences between Arizona and the rest of the country."

Oehler added, economically, industries like ranching, farming and mining are the most common in rural Arizona counties.

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