The Moore American

Local News

January 15, 2014

Poverty down, worries remain

(Continued)

MOORE —

· Family structure: Two-parent households are much more financially secure than single-parent families. The poverty rate for Oklahomans in single-parent households headed by females is 37 percent. In married-couple families, it’s 9 percent.

· Education: People with less education are far more likely to be poor. The official poverty rate is 28 percent for adults over 25 who didn’t finish high school, 15 percent for those who stopped with a high school diploma, and 5 percent for those who completed college.

· Race and ethnicity: The poverty rate remains much higher for African-Americans — 30 percent — but Oklahoma’s rapidly-expanding Hispanic population is not far behind at 29 percent. The poverty rate is 23 percent for Native Americans. Although the rate for non-Hispanic whites is comparatively low — 13 percent — the population of poor whites outnumbers all the other groups combined, at 336,400.

Census Bureau analysts say their official poverty figures actually understate the gains made over the last five decades because they don’t take into account the value of non-cash assistance such as food stamps and housing subsidies.

Government programs have helped keep poverty in check, according to Census Bureau researchers. But they are fighting against several big fundamental trends putting upward pressure on the poverty rate.

Among them: The globalization of the labor market has reduced pay rates for unskilled work, making it more difficult to earn a living wage. Meanwhile, the declining percentage of two-parent families has pushed many families below the poverty line.

“God bless the single moms with two or three kids who are trying to make it happen on a minimum-wage job,” said former Oklahoma House Speaker Kris Steele, who now heads the Education and Employment Ministry in Oklahoma City. “It becomes very, very difficult.”

Advocates for the poor and poor people themselves say it’s unrealistic to expect government programs to eliminate poverty in Oklahoma, or America for that matter.

Text Only
Local News
  • Heathplex Healthplex, EMSStat recognized

    Norman Regional Health System’s Healthplex and EMSStat teams were recognized Thursday by the American Heart Association, receiving a Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • DHS opens lecture series

    People leaving incarceration face a variety of challenges even without a diagnosis of mental illness. But for those who face mental

    July 23, 2014

  • ‘Magic Kids’ get royal treatment

    A Moore elementary student is among three metro children honored by Oklahoma City radio station, KMGL-FM, as “Magic Kids” for their outstanding contributions to their families, schools and local communities.

    July 23, 2014

  • Toothpick holders’ convention coming

    Lynne Ryan has been collecting toothpick holders her entire life. “My parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. ‘Bud’ Gibbs started our collectio

    July 23, 2014

  • Gang member charged in shooting

    An Oklahoma City man police identified as a gang member was charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon Thursday after sh

    July 23, 2014

  • Angels protect us

    A co-worker unpacked a box of copy machine paper from a cardboard box and got a nasty paper cut. Because the source was cardboard, it was deeper than most and the bleeding was difficult to stop.

    July 23, 2014

  • Southmoore student wins gold at National FCCLA

    More than 7,000 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America members, advisers, alumni, and guests from across the country recen

    July 23, 2014

  • Sculpture brings tornado-torn community back together

    After the May 20 tornado tore through Moore in 2013, hundreds of families were left to pick up the pieces. And it was in these old, shattered pieces of people’s homes and scattered debris that two local artists found something new.

    July 22, 2014

  • Panel explains forced labor system

    Many topics were discussed over the course of three days during the 2014 Oklahoma Judicial Conference, but one of the newest issues

    July 22, 2014

  • Moore shut out of prevention aid

    As a massive tornado bore down on Moore on the afternoon of May 20, 2013, residents scrambled to find shelter. Some retreated to safe rooms at home or in buildings. Many hid in closets, bathrooms or hallways.

    July 22, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide