In fact, as many as one in four Southern kids lives in poverty, compared to the national average of one in five.
In the map above, red shading indicates a poverty rates between 17.9 and 22.8 percent. Orange indicates 15.9 to 17.8 percent; light orange, 12.2-15.8 percent; pale yellow, 9 to 12.1 percent. As you can see, there's a lot of high-poverty red in the South.
Virtually no Southern states, with the exception of Florida, have a minimum wage higher than the federal floor of $7.25 an hour. Many Southern states do have relatively low living costs. But they are not dramatically lower than costs of living in other states, such as Ohio and Missouri, that have set minimum wages at least slightly higher than the national limit. The Southern states are doing the absolute minimum for their poorest citizens by keeping the minimum wage at the lowest levels possible.
And people living in the South are a lot less likely to move up the economic ladder.
If you want to achieve the American Dream, don't move to the South. That's because states in the South have extremely low levels of economic mobility. In the map above, pale yellow represents places with higher mobility, while red indicates low mobility.
Many living in poverty in the South are being denied access to affordable health care.
That's according to Gallup's recent "State of American Well-Being" report, which surveyed thousands of Americans and ranked states based on an average of six measures: "life evaluation," emotional health, physical health, healthy behaviors, work environment and basic access to things like food, water and shelter.