The Sciences

The poorest community in the United States

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanApr 21, 2011 4:18 AM

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Its demographics:

As of the census...of 2000, there were 13,138 people, 2,229 households, and 2,137 families residing in the village. The population density was 11,962.2 people per square mile (4,611.5/km2). There were 2,233 housing units at an average density of 2,033.2 per square mile (783.8/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 99.02% White, 0.21% African American, 0.02% Asian, 0.12% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.93% of the population. ... The 2000 census also reports that only 6.2% of village residents spoke English at home, one of the lowest such percentages in the United States...46% spoke English "not well".... There were 2,229 households out of which 79.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 93.2% were married couples living together, 1.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 4.1% were non-families. 2.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 5.74 and the average family size was 5.84. In the village the population was spread out with 57.5% under the age of 18, 17.2% from 18 to 24, 16.5% from 25 to 44, 7.2% from 45 to 64, and 1.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 15 years. For every 100 females there were 116.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 118.0 males. The median income for a household in the village was $15,138, and the median income for a family was $15,372. Males had a median income of $25,043 versus $16,364 for females. The per capita income for the village was $4,355. About 61.7% of families and 62.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 63.9% of those under age 18 and 50.5% of those age 65 or over. According 2008 census figures, the village has the highest poverty rate in the nation, and the largest percentage of residents who receive food stamps. More than five-eighths of...residents live below the federal poverty line and more than 40 percent receive food stamps, according to the American Community Survey, a U.S. Census Bureau study of every place in the country with 20,000 residents or more....

And now a New York Times article about the community, A Village With the Numbers, Not the Image, of the Poorest Place:

“It is, in a sense, a statistical anomaly,” Professor Helmreich said. “They are clearly not wealthy, and they do have a lot of children. They spend whatever discretionary income they have on clothing, food and baby carriages. They don’t belong to country clubs or go to movies or go on trips to Aruba.

This is the human past, and perhaps the human future. Gains in productivity and wealth are translated into raw human numbers. While affluent self-actualizing members of society wring hands over whether to bring children into this "horrible world," there are communities and cultures which have no such hesitation. They breed and they flourish. No fear, just hope of the promise to come. They will be the inheritors. They are rich in the possibilities of future.

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