In 2010, the poverty rates rose in almost all the cities and states even though it was the end of the deepest and longest economic downturn since the Great Depression. The two states with the highest poverty rates were New Mexico and Mississippi. These states had more than one out of every five people living in poverty. In percentages, Mississippi had twenty-two point four percent poverty rates and New Mexico had twenty point four percent poverty rate.
The only state with a poverty rate below ten percent was New Hampshire, which had a poverty rate at eight point three percent. It was also the lowest in all the states. There were a total of twelve states that had poverty rates above seventeen percent, which was up five percent from 2009. In ten metropolitan areas, the poverty rate topped out at eighteen percent.
Part of the reason for the numbers getting worse is that the United States is still in a weak recovery period. The United States saw the recession hit in which the unemployment increased but so far no one has seen a dramatic drop in unemployment. The recession that started in 2007 took a big toll all across the country. There were only a few places that were not hit with crashing incomes and rising joblessness. The recession ended in 2009 officially but the unemployment rate remains above nine percent. In 2009, the poverty rate was fourteen point three percent and it rose to fifteen point three in 2010.