People living beneath the poverty level continues to rise in the Sioux Falls area.

The Rapid City Journal is reporting that a new study from South Dakota Dashboard shows poverty rates in South Dakota's largest city have grown again for the third straight year in a row.  While the Rapid City metro area, the Rushmore States second largest population base is experiencing a 4 percent decline in poverty rates.

In the study, the Sioux Falls metro area saw an increase from 9 percent in 2013, to 11.5 percent in 2015 in poverty rates according to data revealed from the U.S. Census Department. The new numbers leave an estimated 28,285 people living below poverty levels in the Sioux Falls area.

The national average decreased from 15.5 percent in 2014, to 14.7 percent in 2015.

On a positive note, South Dakota's post-recession poverty rates have hit a three-year low of 13.7 percent. As a matter of fact, South Dakota's poverty rate has remained below the national average every year, except in 2009, when both rates were 14.3 percent.

The drop in numbers in the case of Rapid City can be attributed to the new minimum wage increase from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour in the state. The bump in pay has helped pull wage-earner households just barely above the poverty threshold.

In South Dakota, a household comprised of two people earning less than $15,930 annually is considered to be living in poverty.

South Dakota has a whole ranks 24th nationally for poverty rates and has ranked 6th in the region for the past two years according to the dashboard report findings.

Source: The Rapid City Journal

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