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Nonmetro poverty is more concentrated in the South and Southwest

Nonmetro counties with high poverty rates are clustered in Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta, the Southeastern Cotton Belt, the Southwest region along the Mexican border, and Indian reservations located in the northern and western regions. These high-poverty counties usually are sparsely settled and more remote from metropolitan areas and are more likely to have lower education levels and larger minority populations than counties with lower poverty levels. Poverty tends to be longstanding and stems from complex economic and social conditions. Many high-poverty counties are characterized by a preponderance of low-skill and low-wage jobs.