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POVERTY AND MIGRATION IN THE BLACK BELT: MEANS OF ESCAPE?

Robyn Driskell and Elizabeth Embry
Michigan Sociological Review
Vol. 21 (Fall 2007), pp. 79-108
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40969128
Page Count: 30
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POVERTY AND MIGRATION IN THE BLACK BELT: MEANS OF ESCAPE?
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Abstract

Poverty is a serious issue and has created a crisis situation for many rural Black populations. On a geographic basis, poverty is a rural problem. High proportions of poverty are found in the South and in particular, the Black Belt. As a race or ethnic issue, poverty is more likely to affect minorities, especially Blacks. Blacks living in nonmetro areas are particularly disadvantaged socioeconomically since they generally have less human capital, take more marginal and less stable jobs, and earn lower incomes than their metro counterparts. Rural Blacks in the Black Belt remain among the most economically disadvantaged groups in the U.S. For the above reasons, poverty among Blacks in the Black Belt is the focus of this research. Most research indicates that residents do better economically if they migrate outside of the Black Belt region. We explore possible means of escape from poverty by migrating out of the impoverished Black Belt region. The data used in this analysis have been taken from the Census 2000, Public-Use Microdata 5% Sample (PUMS). Overall, results indicate that the Black sample is more likely to be in poverty if they migrated to another nonmetro area in 2000; if they lived outside the Black Belt in 2000; if they were females; and if they were unemployed in 2000.

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