The Factors That Mark The Difference Between Poverty In Rural Areas And Metropolitan Areas

1234 words - 5 pages

Poverty is poverty, but is it really the same? Although there are more people living in poverty in dense, urban areas compared to those living in sparely, populated rural areas, there are significant differences. According to United States Department of Agriculture, poverty rates increase as counties become more rural ("Rural Poverty," 2013). When it comes to poverty there are too many issues to be examined. However, the disparity between education, employment, healthcare and family living circumstances are major contributing factors affecting rural poverty.
Although states have increased funding for education, the community reflects their value of education. In affluent, urban communities where education is highly valued, teachers have higher salaries. Conversely, in low income areas where education is not valued, teachers’ salaries tend to be low (Debertin & Goetz, 1994, p. 3). Another difference between urban education and rural education is course offerings at the high school level. According to Debertin (1994), “Curricula in many rural schools often consist of course mandated by the state plus one or two additional offerings, such as vocational agriculture, home economics, or industrial education, designed to cater to student interests.”
Finally, the transportation of students in rural schools can be a problem. Not only is the operational cost of maintaining and running buses to pick up and drop off students, but the cost to maintain roadways in rural areas presents a problems (Debertin & Goetz, 1994, p. 4). In rural areas, less people get their high school diplomas compared their counterparts in metropolis areas. There is a greater gap when it comes to getting college degrees. According to the Economic Research Service, 26% of those living in cities obtained colleges degrees, whereas, only 15% of people living in rural areas graduated from college. ("Economic Research Service," 2003, p. 1)
Another area of significant disparity between people living in rural areas compared to people living in urban areas is employment. People living in rural areas are substantially underpaid compared to their urban counterparts. Additionally, they have fewer opportunities because there is not a diversity of places of employment as in metropolitan areas. Therefore, most employers offer only low paying jobs. According to Cotter (2002), there are more “low-wage extractive and manufacturing sectors” and these jobs tend to be very unstable (Cotter, 2002). Another issue among people living in rural area is underemployment which tends to be higher especially high for women (Cotter, 2002). Underemployment is an economic distress which is exhibited by either the inability to find a job with sufficient working hours or poverty level wages, and this can sometimes be both (Deller, 2006, p. 1).
Most people considered rural poor are white. However, poverty among racial and ethnic groups is high. For example, according to Burton (2013), African Americans...

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