Marian Wright Edelman’s tour of the Delta on Wednesday showed that many of the issues she and U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy witnessed 50 years ago still trouble the area.

Rates of unemployment, family poverty and food insecurity are higher in most of the Delta’s 18 counties than the rest of the state as well as the U.S. as a whole. 12.8 percent of Issaquena is unemployed, for instance, which is more than three times the national rate.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau/Mississippi Department of Employment Security

Ten counties (Bolivar, Coahoma, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Quitman, Sunflower, Washington and Yazoo) have rates of families earning under the poverty level that more than double the national percentage.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Food insecurity, which nonprofit Feeding America defines as limited or uncertain access to healthy meals, is above average in Mississippi as a whole, but counties in the Delta experience especially high rates.

Credit: Source: Feeding America

Source: Feeding America


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Alex Rozier, a native of New York City, is Mississippi Today’s data reporter. He analyzes data and creates visuals that further inform our reporting. He also reports on the environment, transportation and Mississippi culture and is a member of the engagement team. Alex, whose work has appeared in the Boston Globe and Open Secrets, has a bachelor’s in journalism from Boston University.

One reply on “Delta poverty, food insecurity still worse than state, U.S. averages”

  1. “… the issues she and U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy witnessed 50 years ago still trouble the area.” Victor Hugo wrote Les Miserables in 1862 and described poverty in France and England. So, things did not change even after 200 years, and we see the same kind of poverty everywhere. In reality poverty can never be solved.

    Slavery was removed by creating a war by a person within the slave owners. Similarly, poverty can be removed by creating a war by a person within the creators of the poverty.

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