This project first reports descriptive evidence of the characteristics of mothers in the American South and compares them to mothers in other regions of the country. Women in the South (and West) tend to have their children at younger ages than those in the Midwest and Northeast. Mothers in the South (and West) also have much lower levels of education and are more likely to be African American or Hispanic compared to women in the Midwest and Northeast. Next, this paper attempts to link the characteristics of the mothers in the American South to the high rates of poverty there. Results using data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the Current Population Survey suggest that low‐education levels as well as the racial composition of the South largely contribute to the high rates of poverty there. Increases in educational attainment among mothers in the South to the level of those in the New England division are predicted to reduce poverty rates there between 16 and 26 percent. Changing the racial composition of the South to that in the New England division is predicted to reduce poverty rates between 10 and 14 percent.
Discussion Paper Number
Lopoo, Leonard M., "Poverty and Fertility in the American South" (2005). University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research Discussion Paper Series. 92.