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Regional Report Details Victories, Challenges Over Poverty

A report released in February by the Appalachian Regional Commission, Appalachia Then and Now: Examining Changes to the Appalachian Region Since 1965, examines the impact of improved infrastructure, education and job opportunities across the region. According to the report, Appalachia’s poverty rate dropped from 31 percent to 16.6 percent over the last five decades.

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Appalachia’s Place in the War on Poverty

By Molly Moore Patsy Dowling considers herself a success of the War on Poverty. As a premature baby born in western North Carolina in 1964 — the same year President Lyndon B. Johnson declared war on poverty — Dowling entered

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The War on Poverty at 50


On this day 50 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson sat on a front porch of a weary-looking eastern Kentucky home and declared war on poverty. At the time, one in three Appalachians were considered poor. The poverty rate in the region is now closer to the national average — 16.1 percent in Appalachia compared to 14.3 percent nationally — but, as you might suspect, those statistics tell only part of the story. Economic disparities between Appalachian counties and sub-regions remain high, and, as it was in 1964, eastern Kentucky remains a focal point.

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