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2010 Low Income Report
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The Poverty Myth and The Poverty Math
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The Poverty Myth and  the Poverty Math

2010 Low Income Initiative Progress Report

The Poverty Myth and the Poverty Math.


There is a myth in America that says if you are poor, all you have to do is work hard, do without luxuries (and some necessities) and save. Follow this simple formula, and soon you will be free from financial worry.

Today, the gap between economic levels is the widest it has ever been. According to Pennsylvania State University's Poverty in America Project, persistent poverty is a complex problem that includes communities and individuals who, through no fault of their own, find themselves unable to make ends meet in this globalizing, information-intensive world. The truth about poverty is that it is closer to each of us than we think. The facts are these:

The Poverty Math

13.7% of people 65 years old and older in Louisiana live in poverty versus a national average of 10% 38.6% of single mothers in Louisiana live in poverty versus a national average of 35.8% 26.6% of children in Louisiana live in poverty versus a national average of 18% 18.5% of all people in Louisiana live in poverty versus a national average of 13.2% 12.2% of people 65 years old and older in Texas live in poverty versus a national average of 10% 40.5% of single mothers in Texas live in poverty versus a national average of 38.5% 23.1% of children in Texas live in poverty versus a national average of 18% 16.3% of all people in Texas live in poverty versus a national average of 13.2% 15.9% of people 65 years old and older in Mississippi live in poverty versus a national average of 10% 41.6% of single mothers in Mississippi live in poverty versus a national average of 38.5% 29.7% of children in Mississippi live in poverty versus a national average of 18% 21% of all people in Mississippi live in poverty versus a national average of 13.2% 12.3% of people 65 years old and older in Arkansas live in poverty versus a national average of 10% 47.9% of single mothers in Arkansas live in poverty versus a national average of 38.5% 25.2% of children in Arkansas live in poverty versus a national average of 18% 17.6% of all people in Arkansas live in poverty versus a national average of 13.2%

And as you can see from the chart, folks living in our region of the country are much more likely to be destitute. As the map shows, many of the most impoverished counties in America are in the lower Mississippi River Delta region-America's "third world."

Without sufficient, consistent and accessible funding to anti-poverty programs, long-term solutions for the children, their single mothers and grandparents struggling in poverty today will not be brought about. Without these solutions, the poverty statistics will continue to grow.

In our lifetimes, we have seen the rise of many anti-poverty efforts.

The conditions of poverty are being addressed by various individuals, organizations and institutions throughout the United States; however, these entities-schools and universities, all levels of government, churches and temples, nonprofits and corporations-are experiencing their own deficiencies in funding and personnel.

Collaborative programs between corporations and nonprofit agencies are dwindling even as the need for them increases due largely to the current state of the economy. Without an adequate infrastructure to assist them, it is even more difficult for people in poverty to find the help they need to escape it.

At Entergy, we are proud of what our employees, shareholders and customers-like you are doing to bring a bit of hope to those in need.

Percentages of People In Poverty for Areas Served by Entergy


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