N.C. Poverty Research Fund

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Scotland Neck, Halifax County


The purpose of the N.C. Poverty Research Fund is to explore, document and research the immense challenges of economic hardship in North Carolina. Through the generous donation of various North Carolina foundations, and engaged and committed citizens from across the state and nation, the fund hires undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students and faculty to probe the causes of and solutions to economic injustice in the Tar Heel state.

Poverty is North Carolina’s greatest challenge. In one of the most economically vibrant states of the richest nation on earth, one in six of us live in poverty. The rate is higher if you're a woman, a child, a person of color, a high-school drop-out, unemployed, disabled. Too many are being left out for too many reasons.

Take some time to peruse our projects and activities, which are intended to place the plight of low income North Carolinians at the center of our shared discourse.


New Wilkes County Report

Wilkes County, nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a singular place. Distinctly Appalachian, it is rural and sparsely populated. It has a history of strong self-reliance, deep faith and entrepreneurial spirit. Wilkes' economy, heavily reliant on manufacturing and related industries, was battered by globalization and recessions. Even as the economy rebounds, it faces intimidating challenges: low wages, aging homes, a large proportion of residents with low educational levels, troubling substance abuse, and physical and mental health issues.

Our new report, Mountain Poverty and Resilience: Wilkes County, North Carolina, details hardship and pain as well as determination and strength. Through data and interviews, the report draws a picture of a county at the crossroads: reckoning with current problems while charting a course into an uncertain future.

More about Wilkes County.

Other reports in our series on economic distress in North Carolina include:

Cover of Charlotte report
Economic Hardship, Racialized Concentrated Poverty, and the Challenges of Low-Wage Work: Charlotte, North Carolina

Cover of Medicaid report
Putting a Face on Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina

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