Poverty in North Carolina

Facts and Statistics About Hunger

Knowledge and understanding are powerful tools in the battle to end hunger. The resources here help adults and children better understand the causes of hunger and the challenges to food security.

They also teach about nutrition, food safety and recipes. Our dream is that there would be no hungry people in North Carolina. The better we understand issues that cause hunger, the sooner this dream can become a reality.

  • Between 2000 and 2002, comparing two-year averages, North Carolina median household income decreased by $1749, or -4.4 percent
  • Two-year averages of the number of North Carolinians living below poverty grew from an estimated 985,000 to over 1.07 million between 2000 and 2002 – an increase of over 9 percent.
  • In August 2003 Congressional Budget Office report shows that in 2000 the gap in income share and growth among various income groups was the widest it has been since 1979; related National Bureau of Economic Research data suggest that the income gap is the widest it has been in 70 years.
  • As the state wrestles with the difficult choices that accompany these sobering data, it will be essential that policymakers explore new options for easing the suffering of dislocated workers and carefully reexamine fiscal policies that have exacerbated the growth in the gap between wealthy and lower and middle-income groups.

Summary Overview

The US Census Bureau released new data in September which reveals that poverty is up and household incomes are down in North Carolina for the second straight year. This news comes on the heels of another major data report published the previous month by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that exposed a disturbing increase in the overall income gap in the United States.

Absent deliberate and swift action to reverse these troubling trends, North Carolina risks the gradual erosion of its middle class, resulting in an overwhelming and potentially insurmountable gulf between the haves and the have-nots.

To learn more about poverty in North Carolina and throughout the nation, please visit Feeding America's website.