"Nine out of the 10 poorest states are Red states."
Occupy Democrats on Thursday, December 26th, 2013 in a Facebook post
Pro-Democrat group says 9 of the 10 poorest states are Republican
The partisan blogosphere is filled with arguments over whether liberal or conservative policies are better for states. No matter what is proposed -- cutting the sales tax, raising the minimum wage, etc. -- someone can always come up with a state to cite as an example of why it's a good (or bad) idea.
"If Republican economic policies are so great for America, how come 9 out of the 10 poorest states are Red states?"
We're not going to rule on the cause-and-effect question posed by the posting. Yet because Red states have a reputation for being more business-friendly, and because many argue that pro-business policies lead to better lives for everyone, we wondered whether the Occupy Democrats' claim was correct.
When we emailed Occupy Democrats, founder Omar Rivero sent us links to several sources including a sortable Wikipedia table based on the 2010 U.S. Census, along with more recent data from the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis. We also did our own search of the U.S. Census database.
We’ll start with the standard definition of a Red state: one that voted for the Republican candidate in the most recent presidential election.
It should be noted that there are different ways to measure poverty. Occupy Democrats says its claim is based on per-person income. We looked at that, along with median household income and median family income.
According to the latest Census data, 9 of the 10 states with the lowest per-person income levels were Red: Mississippi, Arkansas, Idaho, West Virginia, Kentucky, Utah, Alabama, South Carolina and Oklahoma.
The Census data also show that 9 of the 10 states with the lowest median household income were Red: Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina and Oklahoma.
And 9 of the 10 states with the lowest median family income were Red: Mississippi, Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana and South Carolina.
The only Blue state on each list: New Mexico.
By the way, 9 of the 10 states with the highest per-person income voted Blue in the 2012 presidential race: Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Virginia and Washington. The only Red state on the list: Alaska.
Occupy Democrats said "Nine out of the 10 poorest states are Red states."
Whether you look at per-person, household, or family income, nine out of the ten poorest states voted Republican in the last four presidential elections.
The judges rule the statement is True.
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