Extension and Ag Research News


North Dakota’s Poverty Rate Sees Little Change in 2007

Certain populations in North Dakota continue to struggle with higher than average poverty rates.

An estimated 11.8 percent of North Dakotans were living in poverty in 2007, which is relatively unchanged from the 11.7 percent in 2006.

“Given our estimated population in the state of 641,481, this means that more than 75,000 people were impoverished in 2007,” says Richard Rathge, North Dakota State Data Center director. The center is at North Dakota State University.

Poverty thresholds are updated annually by the U.S. Census Bureau and vary by family size and number of children. In 2007, the poverty threshold for one person was $10,590 and $21,027 for a family of four with two children under the age of 18.

This month’s “Population Bulletin,” a monthly publication from the State Data Center, focuses on poverty estimates released from the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program through the U.S. Census Bureau. SAIPE provides annual estimates of the number and percentage of people and children living in poverty. These estimates are based on a sample of households.

Due to the relatively small population base in North Dakota and the need to keep the costs of data collection manageable, the sample sizes for the state are relatively small, which increases the likelihood of error. Confidence intervals are calculated to account for this sampling error.

For example, SAIPE estimates indicate that 11.8 percent of all North Dakotans were living in poverty in 2007. However, to be 90 percent confident of the true poverty level, a range of 11.3 percent to 12.3 percent should be used.

Certain populations in North Dakota continue to struggle with higher than average poverty rates. Children have a greater likelihood of living in poverty than the general public. The percentage of North Dakota children ages 0 to 17 living in poverty was estimated at 14 percent in 2007. The percentage of children ages 0 to 4 living in poverty was 18.1 percent and the percentage of children ages 5 to 17 living in families below poverty was 11.7 percent.

In addition, poverty rates in North Dakota were notably higher in Native American reservation areas, with Sioux, Benson and Rolette counties having more than one in four people living in poverty in 2007.

When making important decisions based on these data, one needs to be mindful of the confidence intervals (13 percent to 15 percent for North Dakota children ages 0 to 17, 16.5 percent to 19.7 percent for children ages 0 to 4 and 10.4 percent to 12.9 percent for children ages 5 to 17).

Nationally, 13 percent were living in poverty in 2007. Of those people, 18 percent were children ages 0 to17 and 20.8 percent were ages 0 to 4 (90 percent confidence intervals are 12.9 percent to 13 percent, 17.9 percent to 18.2 percent and 20.5 percent to 21 percent, respectively).

NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Richard Rathge, (701) 231-8621, richard.rathge@ndsu.edu
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu


Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.