May 3, 2022 - News

Mapping North Carolina's poverty rate by county

Data: American Community Survey; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

North Carolina's poverty rates were declining before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, new Census data shows.

By the numbers: The latest five-year figures from the 2016-2020 American Community Survey reveal 14% of North Carolina residents earned incomes below the federal poverty line ($12,760 for a single person in 2020).

Yes, but: Because of when the data was collected, it doesn't capture the full effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Americans.

  • The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina reported a 38% increase in demand between 2020 and 2021.
  • Food bank spokeswoman Jessica Slider Whichard told Axios demand increased again in the last two months.

What they're saying: "Anecdotally, we believe this to be due to increased cost of living, particularly in the last couple months," Slider Whichard said.

  • "Higher gas prices and grocery prices, not to mention supply chain issues, have made it harder for folks to make ends meet and stretch their budgets."
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