Snapshots of the Isothermal Region–Poverty

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Poverty in the Isothermal RPO is generally higher than the average for the State (17.2%) or the US (13.5%). McDowell County’s rate in 2015 was 18.8%. Polk’s rate was 13.5%, the lowest of the three counties. Rutherford County was the highest at 19.2%.

Within the three counties, there are several areas where the number of households in poverty is greater than 20%. Within Rutherford County, there are two Census block groups where the number of households in poverty exceed 50%.

It is important to note that these areas are not just in our small towns but also, out in our Counties, far from local services and employment centers.