by Steve Spires
Louisiana’s economy is improving by some measures. But the economic gains have failed to make a dent in the state’s shameful rate of poverty, according to new American Community Survey (ACS) data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Almost one in five Louisianans–about 896,000 people–lived below the poverty line in 2014. The share of Louisianans living in poverty was the same as in 2013 — 19.8 percent. Louisiana had the third highest poverty rate last year, behind only Mississippi and New Mexico.
An even higher rate of Louisiana’s children lived in poverty — 27.9 percent, statistically unchanged from the year before. That’s 306,000 children, enough to fill Tiger Stadium three times over. Compared to other states, Louisiana is losing ground. The Pelican State moved from having the fourth-highest child poverty rate in 2013 to the third-highest in 2014.