Study says poverty rate average

Published 1:13 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2019

MSU numbers compare poverty, wages in Batesville and Panola

By Jeremy Weldon

Poverty rates in Batesville and Panola County are about the same as the rest of Mississippi, with median household incomes, on a whole, lagging just behind the state average of $50,276.

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The numbers are part of an economic well-being and poverty study released by the Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy at Mississippi State University and posted online at the MSU Extension Service’s website.

The study is based on U.S. Census Bureau numbers from 2016 and are five-year estimates. The numbers compiled and published by the university’s agricultural economics division are also broken down by race and age.

Overall, Panola County is about average compared to most counties in the state, with the obvious economic differences of northeast and coastal counties showing the largest disparities. The numbers are also separated for the City of Batesville and Panola County.

According to the numbers released in the study, average household income in Mississippi is $41,793. In Batesville the average is $50,350 and in the county it’s $35,570.

By race, the average white household income statewide is $50,276 and is $70,333 in Batesville – about 40 percent higher than the Mississippi average. Black household incomes were reported at $32,093, higher than the $27,174 for black households statewide.

In Panola County, white household incomes are $47,619 and black household incomes are $30,372.

The Mississippi overall poverty rate is listed at 21 percent. That number for Batesvillel is 20.8 and for Panola County is 22.7.

Child poverty rate statewide is 31.5 percent, 29.9 percent in Batesville, and 32.8 percent countywide.

Another indicator, deep poverty rate, measures 10 percent for the state, 8.1 percent for Batesville, and 6.6 percent for Panola County. A map on the website indicates a pocket of deep poverty in the east side of the Batesville city limits and north of Sardis in Como and surrounding areas.

There is also a population pyramid included in the study which says females aged 50-59 in Panola County have the highest percentage of measurable poverty.

Officially, the study is based on 2,985,415 households in Mississippi, 34,160 in Panola County, and 7,402 inside the City of Batesville.

The study uses living wage statistics which is the hourly wage an individual must earn to support their family. For example, living wage for one adult with one child is said to be $20.49. The poverty wage for the same example would be $7 an hour.

For two adults working full time with two children, the living wage is $12.85 per person and the poverty wage is $5.