Why this is important
Poverty trends in Dakota County affect an 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 government assistance 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 the table below for specific income guidelines). Beginning in 2007, poverty increased in most of the metro counties, except for Washington County. Poverty in Dakota County increased from 5.1% (2007) to 7.9% (2013), but remains below the state (10.9%) and national (14.7%) rates. In 2013, the poverty rate in Dakota County ranked lower than Hennepin (11.3%) and Ramsey (14%) counties, but higher than other metro counties.
This graph shows the trend in poverty for households in Dakota County and Minnesota between 2006 and 2013. Poverty in Dakota County increased between 2006 and 2013, but the poverty rate is consistently lower than the state. Poverty remained stable between 2006-2008, increased to 7.1% in 2010 (post-recession) and increased again to 7.9% in 2013.