By The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Life is getting harder in the nation’s poorest states. Census data show those states are Mississippi and Louisiana, with about one in five residents living in poverty and about the same percentage surviving without health insurance.
The Census Bureau said Tuesday that roughly 618,000 Mississippi residents and 886,000 in Louisiana don’t have any health insurance. That’s 21.1 percent of Mississippi residents and 20 percent in Louisiana. Texas has the nation’s highest percentage: 24.6 percent.
Mississippi was the nation’s poorest state in 2010. The bureau says an estimated 664,000 residents — 22.7 percent — had income below the poverty line. Louisiana was the second-poorest, at 21.6 percent, or 958,000 people.
Nationally, about one in six people live below the official poverty level of $22,314 a year for a family of four.