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The Cost of Living and the Geographic Distribution of Poverty

by Dean Jolliffe

Economic Research Report No. (ERR-26) 28 pp, September 2006

Cover image for ERR26
Economic Research Reports present original economic analysis, findings, and implications primarily for public and private decisionmakers’ staff and researchers. The prevalence of poverty has been greater in nonmetro areas than in metro areas in every year since the 1960s when poverty rates were first officially recorded. This study suggests that adjusting poverty measures to account for cost-of-living differences between metro and nonmetro areas reverses that ranking.

Keywords: Poverty, cost-of-living adjustments, Fair Market Rents data, urban-rural comparison, Current Population Survey

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