I just learned something that shocked me. The number of people in Kalamazoo County living on incomes below the poverty line grew from 12 percent in 1999 to 20.5 percent in 2010. There were 27,483 people living below the poverty line in 1999. By 2010 this number had increased to 49,724, an increase of 22,241 men, women, and children living in the misery of poverty. This represents a 71 percent increase over the decade.
I’m surprised that I had not heard about this huge increase in local poverty. I learned about it from reading a report prepared by the Kalamazoo County Community Action Agency called “Poverty in Kalamazoo County — 2012 Update.”
Did you know that our county had such a huge increase in poverty over the first decade of this century? How did you find out about it?