Economics (BBA)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

William Levernier


The state of Georgia has one of the highest poverty rates of all the states in the United States. This study examines the causes of poverty in Georgia, using county-level data. The state of Georgia is one of the largest states in the Southeastern U.S. and is very diverse in terms of its mix of metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties, and its mix of agricultural and non-agricultural counties. The major focus of the paper is determining the effect that demographic, educational attainment, labor force, government assistance, and transportation characteristics of a county have on its poverty rate. The major findings of this paper are that counties located in Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) have a much lower poverty rate than the state average, micropolitan statistical areas and counties that’re classified in neither an MSA or a micrpolitan statistical area. Counties that have a higher black population also have a higher poverty rate when holding all else constant. Attempts to reduce the poverty rate should consider increasing educational attainment, shying away from encouraging Retail Trade jobs from entering counties, encouraging the creation of more commuter zones and boosting the per capita net earnings of the county.