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Abstract

This report is one in a series on the socioeconomic condition of rural people within selected areas of the United States. The rural parts of the Ozarks region of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma comprise the study area for this report, and 1,413 sample household heads provided information. Of these households, 25 percent were found to be economically deprived or seriously deprived. Another 28 percent were classified as marginal. Thus, current public and private efforts to improve economic welfare of Ozarks residents seems warranted on the basis of these data. However, efforts to improve income through rural industrialization may not be fully effective because advanced age is a fact for one-third to one-half of the household heads. These persons are at a disadvantage compared with younger in-migrants, for example, in competing for new jobs. Other disadvantages found in the region were that most deprived families had at least two clearly poverty-linked characteristics: advanced age, female head of household, low educational attainment, farm residence, and physical disabilities. Having any one of these characteristics tended to make a family deprived, and the more of them a family had, the more deprived it was.

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