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Oregon's poverty rate takes a dip

The current poverty rate appears to be higher than it was 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago.

About 12.6 percent of Oregonians live in poverty, according to new census figures out this week.

State economist Josh Lehner dissected some of the data in a post on the Office of Economic Analysis' blog Thursday, showing that the poverty rate is "lower than it has been since 2000."

"In decomposing the poverty rates just a little it shows the current economic expansion really is reaching all corners and populations," Lehner wrote.

Lehner noted that the U.S. Census Bureau has changed how they survey and define racial and ethnic groups over the years.

"But as best I can tell, poverty rates among Oregon's communities of color are at multi-decade lows, if not historic lows," Lehner wrote.

The national poverty rate is about 13.1 percent.

Over the past fifty years, the state's poverty rate has grown, with a couple of dramatic peaks and valleys in the 2000s. According to OEA charts, Oregon's current poverty rate appears to be higher than it was 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago.