Census Figures Show More Arkansans Living in Poverty

AUGUST 27, 2004 - Posted at 7:51 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - New U.S. Census numbers show a rise in the number of Arkansas families living in poverty.

The study compared poverty rates from 2001-2003 to rates from 2000-2002.

The survey also shows the number of Arkansans without health insurance rose in comparisons of the two three-year periods.  Another study also released by the bureau on Thursday found that median value of homes in Arkansas went up.

The state's poverty level rose 2.7 percent to 18.5 percent in 2001-2003.  Nationally, the number of families in poverty increased by 3.4 percent to 12.1 percent.

Health insurance coverage in Arkansas dropped, but not as much as it did nationally.  During 2001-2003, an average of 16.6 percent of Arkansans were without health insurance, up 6.4 percent from 15.6 percent in 2000-2002.  The national three-year average of 15.1 percent for 2001-2003 was a 2.7 percent increase from 2000-2002.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)