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Statistics in Rural America

  • There are approximately 353 persistantly poor counties in the United States; 301 of those are rural (USDA). The child poverty rates in these jurisdictions often exceed 35%.
  • One in six children (2.5 million) living in rural regions of the United States are trapped in deep poverty, suffering from poor education and health care.
  • Rural children are 50% more likely than their urban peers to lack health insurance.
  • A rural 8th grade student is 105% more likely more likely to have taken amphetamines; 75% more likely to have consumed cocaine, and 38% more likely to have smoked marijuana than his/her urban peers.
  • The rural working poor are more likely to be economically insolvent and yet unsupported by welfare than their urban counterparts.
  • Two-thirds of the rural poor have one family member that works.
  • 57% of the rural poor do not have reliable transportation.

Initial Priorities of Rural Compassion

The chart below lists some of the needs of rural communities and the areas in which Rural Compassion seeks to encourage development:

  • Mental health services
  • Drug/alcohol recovery
  • Food and basic needs assistance
  • Disaster preparedness and response
  • Housing
  • Advocacy
  • After-school tutoring
  • GED preparation
  • Literacy
  • ESL programs
  • Public school assistance

  • Supplemental education opportunities and childcare
  • Job training/ placement
  • Welfare-to-Work programs
  • Education in financial self-sufficiency
  • Pastor/church support
  • Church planting.
  • Assisting people in becoming mature followers of Christ