In the rural South, more than 1 in 4 children and nearly as many women live in poverty. When race and ethnicity are taken into consideration, the poverty rate is more than double for African-Americans and Latinos compared to their white counterparts.

For women and children living in the rural South, poverty is the result of unequal social, political and economic conditions— failing school systems, high levels of unemployment, poor public infrastructure and housing, and the lack of access to quality healthcare—that have persisted over many decades.

This report, Unequal Lives: The State of Black Women and Families in the Rural South, by the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative, aims to shed light on the most significant and persistent barriers to success, opportunity, and economic security for lower-income women and families in the rural South. It also provides an in-depth analysis of the economic security, health, and overall wellbeing of women living in nine counties across the rural South in the states of Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.

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