Talladega-Sylacauga area named fifth poorest in America taking r - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Talladega-Sylacauga area named fifth poorest in America taking rank with grain of salt

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An area in East Alabama is ranked near the top of a national list, but leaders there aren't very happy with the ranking.

The Talladega-Sylacauga area was listed as the fifth poorest area in America by a credit.com article.

The article bases its list on the annual American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. But, members of the community don't think the ranking tells the whole story.

"I don't think that's true I mean there's plenty going on in this area." said local resident David Marshall. "You have people that are less fortunate. You have people that are more fortunate but there are resources available here that help make up for the people that don't have enough to get by from month to month."

When you think of the Talladega, Sylacauga and the surrounding areas, you may think of the speedway, the school for the deaf and blind or even the Honda Plant nearby. It's an area full of opportunity, leading many people to believe that this area doesn't belong on a list of the poorest areas in the country.

Even though the article from credit.com pulls statistics for the census bureau, Community Action Agency Executive Director Jesse Cleveland says the research is incomplete. For instance, the margin of error on the data is 10 percent; the information only takes into account one year of data; and it doesn't account for the cost of living.

Cleveland and the Community Action Agency work to eliminate poverty in Talladega County. He says he demand for their services is not any higher than any other area.

"There are pockets of poverty in this area and their are pockets of poverty every community city that you go."

Talladega, Sylacauga and the surrounding areas have a lot to offer. Cleveland says he doesnt want people to lose sight of that.

"The quality of life in Talladega and in Sylacauga, I think a lot of communities would cut off their right arm to have," he said. "I know that people who are really in the know are going to take it for a grain of salt. They're going to go on about their business and hope that the negative article that was in the newspaper won't affect their day to day business and their day to day operations," Cleveland said.

We reached out to credit.com - the group behind this article - but were unable to get a response.

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