(CNSNews.com) - America's 10 poorest counties, both in terms of the percentage of those living below the poverty level and median household income, are located on Indian reservations, in states bordering on the Gulf of Mexico, or in eastern Kentucky.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Area Poverty and Income Estimates for 2009, the 10
8. East Carroll Parish,
The national average was 14.4 percent (rounded).
Three of these counties (Ziebach, Shannon and Todd) are located largely within the Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian reservations in South Dakota; four (Holmes, Issaquena, East Carroll and Humphreys) are in Mississippi and Louisiana, while two (Martin and Clay) contain towns in which coal mining still is or has been the major industry.
9. East Carroll Parish,
Nationwide, the median annual household income was just over $50,000.
Four of these counties (Owsley, Clay, Knox and McCreary) are in
In an interview with CNSNews.com, Bill Bissett, president of the Kentucky Coal Association, said that the economic problems in
“Coal provides jobs that tend to start in the $70,000 rage with excellent benefits in those very areas,” said Bissett. “For every coal job three other jobs depend on that one miner for their job. So in many cases, there’s a lack of economic diversity. We mine coal in areas where there isn’t much other industry, either due to topography or by the nature of the terrain but that is one of the major problems as well as transportation infrastructure.”
He warned that recent efforts by the federal government to impose new regulations on the industry could make things in these communities even worse.
“When you harm the coal industry, when you face an overreaching federal government like we face right now in
The Census Bureau study released this week contains economic information for every state and county in the