New Census Data Show Poverty In NW Minn. Counties

BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) — New census data show nearly half of the state’s 10 most impoverished counties are in northwestern Minnesota, where jobs that can support families can be hard to find.

Minnesota Public Radio reports the poverty rate in Beltrami County is nearly 21 percent, and need is increasing while resources are shrinking. Since the recession, the number of residents getting public assistance has climbed from about 5,000 to around 6,000.

The county includes the Red Lake reservation, where child poverty is about 45 percent, nearly twice the county’s rate as a whole. And while 12 percent of whites live in poverty across the county, it’s 44 percent for American Indians.

Beltrami Works is trying to help people out of property. It’s a two-year-old pilot program offering life coaching and networking.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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