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Grundy County poorest in the state

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GRUNDY COUNTY, TN - Findings in new census data have given a not so desirable title to a local county.

Grundy County has been named the poorest in the state. The numbers come from U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

The survey shows the poverty rate in Grundy County is almost 30%, while about 10% of its population is unemployed.

“You'll go through Grundy County and find some of the greatest people you'll ever meet in your life. They're here,” resident and former Monteagle Alderman Harry Parmley said.

Parmley has lived in Monteagle his whole life and while Grundy County has been named the poorest in the state, he says it's not a reflection of the people that live here.

“A lot of them are the same as I am. They love Monteagle and that's where they want to be,” he said.

Parmley says without a local industry, many rely on restaurants for work, often times staying at the same job for decades. Some even choose to commute to surrounding cities for better jobs.

“My wife works at the grocery store. She works at Piggly Wiggly. She's been there for 30 years,” he said.

To identify the poorest counties, the study reviewed the estimated median annual household incomes from 2009 through 2013. The median household income in Grundy County is about $27,000, compared to the state average of $44,000.

Parmley says some choose to make less in order to stay closer to family.

“You get used to what you make and what you can spend and they just live a little lower lifestyle, you know?”

To see a full county break down, click HERE.
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