Graph depicting Education Spending and the Poverty Rate by State
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Sources: Census   NEA

Data: Excel

Last updated: April 11, 2015

 

States that Spend More on Education Have Less Poverty



Description: This graph shows the relationship between K-12 education spending per student and the poverty rate.

Discussion: The correlation between high education spending and low poverty is very strong. Some of the states with very low poverty rates also spend very little on education. For example, Utah spends less than $8,200 per student on education, but has a poverty rate of only 8.3%. However, all of the states that have high poverty rates spend little on education. This is consistent with the possibility that there are multiple ways to reduce poverty and that high education spending is one of them.

High spending on education also has considerable benefits for the economy in general, so even states with low poverty rates ought to spend a lot on education. Ultimately, education spending is a very sound investment. Not only does it lift more people out of poverty, but it drives the median income of the entire state up significantly. The investment in today's children returns many fold over the course of their careers.


See more graphs about: Poverty   Spending