According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2012, the Commonwealth of Kentucky had a population of about 4.4 million. Approximately 18.6 percent of the population is classified by the federal government as living below the poverty level. The majority of the commonwealth’s impoverished people reside in the 54 eastern Kentucky counties that are considered part of Appalachia by the Appalachian Regional Commission. One of the challenges in addressing poverty within the commonwealth is the existence of 120 counties. In comparison, California has 58. This problem has been evident since the last quarter of the 19th century, when many were dubbed pauper counties. The term was coined to describe the counties that expended more tax revenues than they generated.

In order to stop the creation of more ...

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