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.


Medicaid report cover

Our new report on the "Medicaid gap" is out!

Because North Carolina has failed to expand Medicaid (as intended under the ACA and enacted by 31 other states), hundreds of thousands of low-income Tar Heels are not eligible for Medicaid. Nor do they qualify for health insurance subsidies under the ACA. These folks are in the "Medicaid gap."

As described in our report, Putting a Face on Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina, the consequences of refusing to expand Medicaid are many. They are certainly economic. The state loses out on billions of dollars of federal funding, thousands of new jobs, and the bountiful economic stimulus this activity creates.

But the true crisis is a personal one. Lives are stunted and cut short by the lack of access to health care. Our report includes interviews with doctors, patients and would-be patients who are witness to--and struggling with--the consequences of the state's decision to deny expansion. As Gene Nichol states, the decision to turn down Medicaid expansion, "touches, dramatically and unforgivingly, the fabric, character, dignity and humanity of North Carolina life."

Read op-eds on the harm done by the state's refusal to expand Medicaid by Gene Nichol, Dr. Charles van der Horst and NC Policy Watch's Chris Fitzsimon. This brief but pointed Vice News video explains the Medicaid gap and features a doctor we interviewed extensively for our report.


Image of Charlotte report

In the wake of the police shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott, CNN Money (and others) have turned to the NC Poverty Research Fund's Charlotte report to explain and describe racially concentrated poverty and economic inequality in the Queen City. For additional articles, visit our page on Charlotte.

The report, "Economic Hardship, Racialized Concentrated Poverty, and the Challenges of Low-Wage Work," uses extensive data and narrative to detail the privation and inequality that goes hand in hand with Charlotte's immense growth and impressive wealth.
UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106

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