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Excerpts from the report Highlights: White Americans in rural areas are a major and persistent poverty problem in the Nation. Estimates concerning the extent of this problem are based on an extension beyond the census definition of rural to include all nonmetropolitan territory outside of central cities and urban fringe. In 1960, there were 9.65 million families (white and nonwhite) in the Nation whose 1959 net cash incomes were less than $3,000. Of this number, some 6.1 million families lived in nonmetropolitan areas. Eighty percent of these families were white. This proportion of poor rural whites is likely to be at least as high today. Although Spanish Americans are included in the census of the white population, they are excluded from this discussion, because their problems are the subject of a special paper. Special problems of these whites in poverty reflect their relative anonymity, lack of organization, and lack of a common identity. Although concentrated in parts of Appalachia, the Ozarks, and the South, they are for the most part a scattered population located in many small hamlets, farming villages, and open country, including affluent farming areas.


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