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, Sáenz Rogelio, Carlos Siordia


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

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

Patterns of Asexuality in the United States
Volume 23 - Article 18

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

The sex preference for children in Europe: Children’s sex and the probability and timing of births
Volume 48 - Article 8    | Keywords: Europe, family structure, fertility, gender, progression rate, sex, sex composition, son preference

The growth of education differentials in marital dissolution in the United States
Volume 45 - Article 26    | Keywords: demography, divorce, education, family, family structure, marriage, stratification

Stepfather families and children's schooling in sub-Saharan Africa: A cross-national study
Volume 44 - Article 27    | Keywords: children, family structure, schooling, stepfamily, sub-Saharan Africa, well-being

The long-run effects of poverty alleviation resettlement on child development: Evidence from a quasi-experiment in China
Volume 43 - Article 10    | Keywords: child development, migration, poverty, resettlement

Child poverty across immigrant generations in the United States, 1993–2016: Evidence using the official and supplemental poverty measures
Volume 39 - Article 40    | Keywords: children, diversity, Hispanic, immigration, integration, population, poverty, racial/ethnic differences, United States of America