The national poverty rate last year was 13.5 percent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate in Decatur County, Iowa, last year was 21. 7 percent. That’s 62 percent higher than the national rate. Decatur County sits along the Iowa/Missouri border and had fewer than 85-hundred residents in 2010. Lamoni and Leon are its largest communities.
The poverty rates in Johnson and Story Counties where large batches of college students live both topped 18 percent. The U.S. Census Bureau has an interactive map with the data for every county.
The poverty rate in Polk County — Iowa’s largest — was below the national rate. About one out of every 10 residents in Des Moines and the surrounding area had income below the poverty line last year.