Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - January 17, 2018 


As the DOJ tries a rare direct appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on DACA, a new report says border patrol agents have been vandalizing water left for migrants; also, on today's rundown a labor dispute in Minnesota could affect Super Bowl week; and the Interior decision nears on sage-grouse plans.

Daily Newscasts

VA, DC Poverty Down, Still Higher Than 2007

According to the census, Virginia has a lower poverty rate than the United States as a whole, while the District of Columbia has a higher rate. (U.S. Census Bureau)
According to the census, Virginia has a lower poverty rate than the United States as a whole, while the District of Columbia has a higher rate. (U.S. Census Bureau)
September 18, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. -- Census data shows the poverty rate is slowly going down in Virginia and the District of Columbia, but it is still higher than it was before the Great Recession.

Nearly 11 percent of households in Virginia, and more than 17 percent in the District of Columbia struggled with poverty in 2016. That's down from where it was. But Laura Goren, research director for The Commonwealth Institute, pointed out there are still more than a quarter-million children living in poverty in Virginia a decade after the economic crisis.

"We are slowly making improvements year over year in reducing the number of children who are living in households with too little income to make ends meet,” Goren said. "But we are still not down to 2007 levels."

Nationally, median income is slowly rising, and the rate of poverty is going down a bit. D.C. has one of the highest median incomes in the country, but also one of the highest rates of poverty. Not surprisingly, it also ranked high in income inequality.

Goren stressed that the growth has been spotty - much faster in some places than others. Virginia has some counties that are among the wealthiest in the country. But, she said, it also has communities that are suffering.

"While it's great when we have an improving economy in northern Virginia and other relatively well-off areas, we can't forget about communities that are being left behind,” Goren said. "And there are things we can do."

Goren said the state can do more to improve access to health care - people can work more when they're healthy, she said. And she said the state should invest more in public education, because the cuts made to school budgets during the great recession landed hardest on the communities with the fewest resources.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - VA