Eastern Wyoming struggles with poverty

May 14, 2012

For years, Eastern Wyoming has struggled with poverty and it appears things have not changed. 

 The Center for Rural Affairs says that 2010 census numbers confirm that poverty in Eastern Wyoming is at a rate that is actually higher than many urban areas, especially for children.  Report Author Jon Bailey says that part of the problem is that federal subsidies for large farms is harmful to rural development. 

He says there are innovative ways that can be used to turn things around such as developing federal, state and local partnerships.  But Bailey adds that this problem has been ignored for a long time.

"Most of the rural places in this region contain mostly low-income, low-wage work, and that’s why we see a lot of de-population in the rural areas, too. Especially, younger people leave for more urban areas."

Bailey says there report shows that 13 percent of the area’s population lives in poverty and that number increases to 16 percent for children.   He adds that many children in the area face food insecurity.