Volume 20 - Article 15 | Pages 353-376

Poverty in the Texas borderland and lower Mississippi Delta: A comparative analysis of differences by family type

By Tim Slack, Joachim Singelmann, Kayla Fontenot, Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Rogelio Saenz, Carlos Siordia

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Date received:03 Jul 2008
Date published:08 Apr 2009
Word count:5499
Keywords:family structure, Mississippi Delta, persistent poverty, poverty, regional poverty, Texas


We provide a comparative analysis of county-level poverty in the two poorest regions of the United States - the Texas Borderland and the Lower Mississippi Delta - with a special focus on differences by family type. Our results reveal important regional variation in both the prevalence of poverty and the composition of the poor population across major family types. Using OLS regression models of family type-specific poverty we demonstrate three key findings: 1) There are no significant regional differences in poverty levels by family type between the Borderland and the Delta, net of important structural factors that characterize the regions; 2) with the exception of the employment rate, the structural factors associated with poverty among married couple and single female-headed families are quite different; and 3) paradoxically, areas in the Borderland with high in-migration are especially likely to suffer from high married-couple family poverty. Our results suggest the need for regionally targeted and demographically tailored anti-poverty policies.

Author's Affiliation

Tim Slack - Louisiana State University, United States of America [Email]
Joachim Singelmann - Louisiana State University, United States of America [Email]
Kayla Fontenot - Louisiana State University, United States of America [Email]
Dudley L. Poston, Jr. - Texas A&M University, United States of America [Email]
Rogelio Saenz - Texas A&M University, United States of America [Email]
Carlos Siordia - University of Pittsburgh, United States of America [Email]

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