10-20-30 Provision: Defining Persistent Poverty Counties [Updated February 24, 2021] [open pdf - 2MB]
From the Introduction: "Antipoverty interventions that provide resources to local communities, based on the characteristics of those communities, have been of interest to Congress. One such policy, dubbed the '10-20-30 provision', was implemented in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5). Title I, Section 105 of ARRA required the Secretary of Agriculture to allocate at least 10% of funds provided in that act from three rural development program accounts to persistent poverty counties; that is, to counties that have had poverty rates of 20% or more for the past 30 years, as measured by the 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial censuses. [...] This report discusses how data source selection, and the rounding of poverty estimates, can affect the list of counties identified as persistently poor. After briefly explaining why targeting funds to persistent poverty counties might be of interest, this report explores how 'persistent poverty' is defined and measured, and how different interpretations of the definition and different data source selections could yield different lists of counties identified as persistently poor. This report does not compare the 10-20-30 provision's advantages and disadvantages against other policy options for addressing poverty, nor does it examine the range of programs or policy goals for which the 10-20-30 provision might be an appropriate policy tool."
CRS Report for Congress, R45100
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/