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Census: Poverty ticks up in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The poverty rate inched up in Minnesota last year while incomes fell, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

The state's poverty rate increased from 11 percent in 2009 to 11.6 percent last year. The increase was even larger among children, from 14.1 percent of children living in poverty in 2009 to 15.2 percent in 2010.

Minnesota Public Radio News ( ) reported that median income in the state fell by more than $1,000 from $56,600 in 2009 to about $55,500 in 2010, after accounting for inflation.

American Community Survey estimates are determined through surveys of about 2 percent of the population, rather than the data taken from the bureau's attempt to count everyone every 10 years.

The survey's year-over-year estimates are only available for states, cities and counties with populations of 65,000 or more, which means that in Minnesota 2010 data is available for the state, 12 counties and eight cities.

While limited, the data is useful for annual comparisons. The U.S. Census Bureau said the changes in both median income and the poverty rate in Minnesota from 2009 to 2010 were statistically significant.

Minnesota remains better off than most other states in terms of median income and poverty statistics. It ranked 13th highest in median income, ahead of all the other Midwestern states. The poverty rate was 10th from the bottom, following several eastern states, Alaska, Hawaii and Wyoming.

St. Louis County had the lowest median income of the counties covered by the yearly data with $41,800. It also had the highest poverty rate at 17.9 percent, followed by Ramsey County at 17.2 percent. The poverty line was defined in 2010 as about $22,000 in income for a family of four.

Among cities, at least one in five people living in Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Cloud and Duluth were living below the poverty line.


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News,

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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