Study: Living Poor Costs More in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Poor people in Kentucky actually pay more for everyday expenses than their wealthier counterparts, according to a new study.

Low-income families are likely to have more expensive mortgages, higher interest rates on their car loans and costlier auto insurance, according to a study from the Washington-based Brookings Institution. The report also found that poor people often pay more for their groceries, furniture and appliances.

"Some of the highest prices for basic necessities in Kentucky are in its poorest areas, including the Appalachian region, where everything from mortgages to insurance is comparably more expensive than in most other areas of the state," the report said.

Terry Brooks, executive director of the Kentucky Youth Advocates, said companies across the state could help by finding "innovative ways" to offer poor people loans with lower interest rates.

Those who have low incomes make strategic decisions, but have limited options in what they can do, Brooks said.

"It's clearly not a quick fix," Brooks said.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by ruby on Mar 16, 2008 at 05:09 AM
    we need help in paintsville ky. to many durgs and to many poor familys
  • by james Location: manchester on Jun 21, 2007 at 09:25 PM
    This goes to Christina in Richmond. Are you kidding me? Gas, cigarette, everything is higher down here. The same house you said costed so much more in lexington ok. Lets look at this. The interest rates here are higher which puts the house payments down here about the same as everywhere else with less income. Which a good job here consist of 6 dollars an hour. Just come down here and live a while. If people dont believe me try it.
  • by Matt Location: Independence, KY on Jun 21, 2007 at 02:34 PM
    I will try to post again aparently my previous post was to truthful. My response is to Christina! I lived in Lexington and I have to disagree with you! The cost of living is not higher in fact I would argue that the cost of living in Hazard is higher. I don't care what some website says. I lived in both Lexington and Hazard and Now I live in Northern Kentucky. Explain to me why I have more today than I ever had in Hazard. I have the same education I had in Hazard yet I am making nearly 100,000 dollars per year in Northern Ky, and I only made 25,000 thousand per year in Hazard and my house payment in Northern Kentucky, for a much nicer house, that I own, is only a few hundred dollars more than my rent was in Hazard! My food cost the same, electricity is cheaper, service is better, garbage pick up and water is cheaper as well. Not to mention car insurance. So I submit to everyone that the overall cost of living in Hazard is actually higher than in Lexington. Yes certain individual things might be higher but other things are cheaper. My car insurance cost three times less in Lexington and Northern KY than it did in Hazard. It is a sad fact that my beutiful home and all of Eastern Kentucky, Appalachia to include parts of Virgina, Tennessee, and West Virginia, are poverty traps. The only way out of poverty is to educate and leave. Our Appalachia home should be strictly for retired folks. Move away, work, retire, then go back home. Good Day.
  • by Casey Location: Lexington on Jun 21, 2007 at 02:10 PM
    I used to live in Eastern Kentucky and the cost of living is higher there on a lot of things. Gas is higher there as well as a lot of utilities, especially electric. But the cost of real estate is higher the closer to the city that you get. Uncle Sam is going to get us no matter where we live the way I see it.
  • by Voice of Reason Location: Lexington on Jun 21, 2007 at 06:19 AM
    Jack from Pike County; you are right on the mark. If you get just a penny over that poverty level, you no longer qualify for the aid needed in order to have the neccesitites; not the luxuries.
  • by Jack Location: Pike County on Jun 21, 2007 at 05:46 AM
    It's a catch 22, you have to be poverty-ridden to get help, and once you do qualify for help, you have to stay at that level or loose the assistance you desperately need. Many of the people who are as you say, "living off the state/government" would like to do more but as soon as they make the attempt, the small amount that they depend on is taken away. HELP means HELP, not keep you poor.
  • by Christina Location: Richmond on Jun 20, 2007 at 10:01 PM
    This comment goes to James in Manchester. The reason that the same resturant would pay someone more in Lexington than in southeastern Kentucky is because the cost of living is more in Lexington. If you don't believe me, check out this website, I bought a house in Richmond and if I was to buy the same house in Lexington (but in lex, my yard would be smaller) I would have to pay about $40,000 more for it. Also that is why I drive 25 miles to go to work each day is because they are willing to pay more in Lexington.
  • by LS Location: Lexington on Jun 20, 2007 at 08:15 PM
    Bravo Justin and Zachary. I'm sick and tired of these sob stories, when there are tens of millions in financial aid available for training both at the state and federal level. I was the son of a coal miner and paid my college tuition bagging at Kroger/KMart and now own two companies moving half a million in funds each month to small businesses. I moved from apt to apt in the back of a rusted out crap pickup truck as I got my first two jobs going. Success stories require a success mindset. Some of the people posting below have already given up.
  • by Justin Location: Lexington on Jun 20, 2007 at 02:16 PM
    I have two words for you James in Manchester: COLLEGE EDUCATION! If you had that, McDonald's would be the place you take the kid's for a Happy Meal; not work at!
  • by james Location: manchester on Jun 20, 2007 at 11:21 AM
    This comment goes to Justin in Lexington and everyone else who dont believe this. Here's a plan. Why don't you come down to southeastern Kentucky and live a year. Get you a job down here for minimum wage $5.15 an hour. Unlike in Lexington where you can start out at Mcdonald's for what 8 or 9 dollars an hour. The cost of living down here is higher than a city the size of lexington. If you dont believe me I've got 2 words for ya. TRY IT.


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