Second Chart of the Day: Unemployment

Source: Commonwealth Institute

Another chart from the Commonwealth Institute based on the latest U.S. Census data: poverty rates across Virginia metro areas.

Here’s what leaped out at me: Every single metro area, from Harrisonburg to Winchester, had a poverty rate below the statewide average of 11%. How high must the poverty rate for non-metro (aka rural) Virginia be to skew the numbers in such a way? As Augie Wallmeyer says, there are two Virginias.

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2 responses to “Second Chart of the Day: Unemployment”

  1. Hamilton Lombard Avatar
    Hamilton Lombard

    Most of the time non-metro and rural areas are conflated, but if you go through the 2016 Census Data you can see they are pretty different when it comes to poverty. Non-metro areas overall had a poverty rate of 16.7 percent but rural areas in Virginia had an 11.5 percent poverty rate ( a map of them is here: If you isolated the data further, you would probably see that small Virginia towns and cities outside its metropolitan areas, such as Clifton Forge and Galax, have poverty rates around 20 percent.

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    Even some of the cities like Harrisonburg and Lynchburg are only barely marginally lower than the statewide average and agree with Mr. Lombard – if we did a little more context and depth – perhaps like zipcodes -we’d get something more informative than a broad-brush soundbite.

    Even places like Henrico have zones with high poverty levels … with attendant school issues…… etc..

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