Poverty rises in Oklahoma; children especially bearing the brunt

Despite Oklahoma’s comparatively modest unemployment rate and steady wage growth over the last two years, many of the state’s low income residents continue to be left behind by the economic recovery.  According to data released today by the Census Bureau, the state’s individual poverty rate rose from 16.2 percent in 2009 to 16.9 percent in 2010.  There were 616,610 people living in poverty in 2010 – about one in six Oklahomans.  A family of four is below the poverty level if they earn less than $22,113 a year.  The chart below shows state and national poverty rates over the last four years: