Rural poverty is largely regional. The nation's primary region of rural poverty is the Black Belt South that stretches through 11 states from Virginia to Texas. In this area, like in other rural expanses of the United States, urban places typically fall within state lines while rural areas run across state lines and create multistate regions of rural poverty. The federal government provides block grants to address many of the public assistance needs of state populations. State-level block grants may be appropriate for serving urban areas within states, but they do not address regional-level poverty and welfare requirements across multistate rural regions. Regional organization is required to address public assistance in rural regions and to equitably coordinate the major effort necessary to turn the course of poverty in the Black Belt South.

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