County poverty down, Census Bureau says

Numbers for Columbia trend upward but outside margin of error
Wednesday, August 29, 2007 | 2:22 p.m. CDT; updated 1:58 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

About 5,000 fewer Boone County residents were living in poverty in 2006 than in 2005, according to statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday, but the number of Columbians in poverty rose by more than 600.

The bureau’s report shows that in 2006, 14.9 percent of Boone County residents had incomes below the poverty level, compared with 19.7 percent in 2005. In raw numbers, that means 20,291 of the county’s 136,567 residents were below the poverty level last year.

In Columbia, the trend was different. In 2006, 20.7 percent of the population was living in poverty, compared with 20.3 percent the year before. Again, in raw numbers, that means 17,301 of Columbia’s 83,655 residents in 2006 fell below the poverty line.

The results for Columbia failed to exceed the margin of error, which the bureau reported to be plus or minus 3.5 percent. The margin in the Boone County analysis was plus or minus 2.5 percent.

An Associated Press story on Tuesday reported that the nation’s poverty rate was 12.3 percent in 2006, down from 12.6 percent a year before.

The poverty level is calculated based on the size of a family's household. The income threshold for a one-person household, for example, is $10,294, while the threshold for a family of four, including three children younger than 18, is $23,691.

Click here to get the entire report on Columbia from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Click here to get its entire report on Boone County.

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