Why this is important
Poverty trends in Dakota County affect the entire community. As individuals face hardships in meeting daily needs for food, clothing, and shelter, they may first turn to families and friends. They may also seek assistance from community resources such as religious organizations, non-profit agencies, or through Minnesota’s safety net programs (e.g., MFIP, food stamps, medical assistance). The poverty rate is a factor in predicting the number of public assistance cases that are managed by Dakota County (see the public assistance measure for more information).
What the data show
Poverty is defined as people or families living below established poverty thresholds (see poverty guidelines). Dakota County was the only county among the seven metropolitan-area counties that did not experience an increase in the poverty rate between 2010 and 2011. Dakota County’s poverty rate decreased from 7.1% to 6.7% in this period. Dakota County’s poverty rate remains below the state and national rates.