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Poverty rate down, Tennessee still in "the bottom ten."

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT/TNS)  --  The U-S Census Bureau reports that the poverty rate in Tennessee dropped slightly last year.

The rate fell a tenth-of-a-percent to 17.8 percent in 2013. However, Linda O'Neal with the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth points out that 1.1 million Tennesseans still live below the poverty line.

"Well, no matter how you measure it, Tennessee remains in the bottom ten in the percent of people making ends meet. This particularly impacts Tennessee families with children. More than one-in-four Tennessee children lives in a family experiencing economic stress."

O'Neal says ways to help strengthen the financial footings of families include expanding Medicaid so more people can access health care, improving opportunities for education and employment, and raising of the minimum wage.