The 2014 American Community Survey data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals poverty and food insecurity on the rise in North Carolina.
More than 1.6 million North Carolinians are living below the poverty level. The poverty rate climbed from 15.1 percent in 2009 to 17.6 percent in 2014.
Comparing the 2005-2009 survey to the 2010-2014 survey reveals not a single county in the state where poverty rates have decreased. You can download the full map here.
The number of households receiving SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps) rose to more than half a million in 2014, up from 300,310 in 2009. The majority of those households are families with children under 18. Click here for an interactive map of food stamp distribution by county.
The data show these are the working poor. The median income for those families receiving SNAP benefits was approximately $17,780 a year, with three quarters reporting one or more employed adults in the past 12 months. Only a quarter of SNAP recipients reported no work in the previous year.
If you’re looking for more data, Vox offers an explainer on the American Community Survey, its uses, efforts to defund the project, and a handy guide for searching the data yourself. Check it out here.