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Morgan County ranks second nationally for surprising statistic

Apr 16, 2024 01:03PM ● By Linda Peterson

This map shows poverty rates across the nation. Courtesy image/American Community Survey

Morgan County has one of the lowest poverty rates in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Morgan, which has 3,506 households, was only beaten out for the lowest poverty rate by Borden County, Texas (1.6 percent); Morgan County’s rate was 1.7 percent followed by Sterling County, Texas (1.8 percent).

On the other end of the scale, poverty rates are highest in South Dakota where three counties  have the highest rates in the nation: Oglala Lakota County (55.8 percent), Todd County (52.2 percent), and Mellette County (49.1 percent) 

Overall the U.S. national poverty rate declined significantly to 12.5 percent during the five-year period from 2018 to 2022. Poverty rates decreased in more than one-third (1,042) of all 3,144 U.S. counties. Poverty is measured in the United States by comparing a person's or family's income to a minimum amount of income needed to cover basic needs. 

Morgan County’s 12,295 residents have a median household income of $ 120,854, the survey says.

Other statistics provided by the survey include percentage of the Morgan County population with a bachelor's degree or higher (37.6 percent) and the employment rate (62.6  percent). Slightly more than  97 percent of residents are white while just 338 of Morgan County residents are Hispanic or Latino, it says.

The Census Bureau identifies 342 employer establishments in Morgan County. Total housing units come in at 3,703; of those 86.9 percent are owner-occupied. Just 5 percent of Morgan residents did not have health care coverage in 2020 (the last year that survey was completed) according to the 2020 Decennial Census.  

The American Community Survey measures data in 5-year increments. The survey “helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities,” its website says.λ

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