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The number of children in nonmetropolitan (nonmetro) areas increased by 3 percent between 1990 and 2000, compared with a 16-percent increase in metropolitan (metro) areas. A number of nonmetro counties lost population in the 1990s due to outmigration of young families, and the small increase in the number of nonmetro children may reflect that. Although rural child poverty rates declined in the 1990s, they remain higher (21 percent) than the rates for urban children (18 percent). In 2003, 2.7 million rural children under 18 were poor, representing 36 percent of the rural poor. The geographic distribution of child poverty-heavily concentrated in the South-is important for targeting poverty reduction policies and programs in nonmetro areas.


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