Poverty and Food Needs Profiles Offer County Data

AMES, Iowa – Poverty statistics have climbed during the past decade, and food insecurity rates have increased across Iowa and the nation as a whole. Researchers from Iowa State University have assembled the latest data on these issues in a series of publications, now available online.

The Poverty and Food Needs Profiles, organized by county, can be downloaded at  no charge from the ISU Extension and Outreach website at http://www.icip.iastate.edu/special-reports/poverty.

“Each profile provides indicators of food and poverty needs within a county,” said Kimberly Greder, an extension specialist and associate professor of human development and family studies at Iowa State University. “Information pertaining to income, health insurance, housing costs, participation in assistance programs, prevalence to food stores, vehicle access, chronic disease and obesity, and other health and socio-economic factors are included in each county profile.”

The profiles provide factual data about the characteristics of Iowa communities. The information can be used to see where Iowa communities stand compared to national statistics, Greder said. “The profiles can help with community planning and offer a fuller picture of the well-being of the county population.”

Local leaders and community advocates can use the data to help characterize their community’s population for presentations and grant proposals, Greder said. “The data will be helpful for decision-making. Through it, Iowans can assess the needs of counties and determine where to focus.”

Liesl Eathington, with the ISU Department of Economics and the Regional Capacity Analysis Program (RECAP) at Iowa State, prepared the county profiles.