Hunger and poverty in Wisconsin, county by county

Poverty rates by county in Wisconsin (source: American Community Survey 2008-2012)
Poverty rates by county in Wisconsin (source: American Community Survey 2008-2012)

County-by-county poverty and food security trends are available in a new series of reports prepared by researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Extension and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The reports summarize recent trends in poverty and food security—or access to enough food for a healthy, active life—as well as factors that contribute to the county’s status. They compare each county with the rest of the state and include a discussion of implications for policy and programs.

The reports were authored by Katherine Curtis, director of the Applied Population Laboratory and associate professor in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology; Judi Bartfeld, director of the IRP RIDGE Center for National Food and Nutrition and professor in the Department of Consumer Sciences in the School of Human Ecology; and graduate student Sarah Lessem.

Developed for county-based University of Wisconsin-Extension educators, the reports also provide a useful tool for local governments, community organizations, and Wisconsin residents.

According to the new reports, poverty in Wisconsin rose substantially in the 2000s and early 2010s. In 2012, 13.2 percent of the state’s population—roughly 737,356 people—lived in poverty, as compared to 8.7 percent in 2000.


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