Amidst a wave of negative economic news associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is the slightest of a silver lining.

Some experts are speculating that despite all of the slowdowns, shutdowns, and disruptions the world has endured since the beginning of 2020, the number of people living below the poverty line in the United States has been cut nearly in half.

At the end of 2019, data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that 13.4% of Americans were making less than the poverty threshold, which is $12,880 for an individual or $26,500 for a family of four. Some estimates now put that number at just 7.7 percent, which is the lowest level in history.

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But that doesn't mean there aren't a significant number of people still struggling financially, not only across the country but also here in South Dakota.

24/7 Wall St., using five-year estimates from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, has identified the town with the highest poverty rate in every state, with populations ranging from 1,000 to 25,000 people.

In South Dakota, that would be Rosebud.

More than two-thirds of the residents (67.1%) on the Native American reservation in Todd County live below the poverty level, 54 percent more than the state's average (13.1%). Only two other places in the country had higher poverty rates:  Watchtower, New York (92%) and Breckinridge, Kentucky (69.1%).

When it came to families receiving financial assistance for food, 50.4% of Rosebud residents are enrolled in the Federal Government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), compared to just 9.2 percent elsewhere in the state.

As for income, the median Rosebud household makes just $19,453, which is nearly $40,000 less than the rest of South Dakota ($58,275).

To find the South Dakota town least impacted by poverty, you need to travel 250 miles to the Minnehaha County town of Crooks, just 12 miles North and West of Sioux Falls.

There, just one percent of the town's 1,327 people live below the poverty level and less than two percent are on SNAP.

The median household income of $94,904 in Crooks far exceeds the state average ($58,275).

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