PERCEPTIONS OF SOCIAL PROBLEMS
IN THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA


by Alan W. Barton, Ph.D.

From the 2007 Delta Rural Poll
Conducted January 2007
 

Social Problems

Social problems are recognized patterns of social behavior that are widely perceived as problems by members of the community. Social problems have an objective reality: the behavior can be empirically observed; as well as a subjective component: people perceive the behavior exists and define it as a problem. The data presented here show how Mississippi Delta residents perceive four social problems.

 

Teenage Pregnancy

Values are percents Serious Problem Moderate Problem Minor Problem Not a Problem Don't Know % of Sample

All Respondents

54.5 8.3 8.8 19.5 8.9 100.0

County

North Delta

53.5 4.7 9.3 24.0 8.5 13.0

Coahoma

58.9 10.7 9.8 11.6 8.9 11.3

Bolivar

48.7 8.3 9.6 18.6 14.7 15.8

Sunflower

66.7 6.7 5.2 16.3 5.2 13.6

Leflore

49.3 9.6 9.6 22.6 8.9 14.7

Washington

55.6 7.9 9.6 19.7 7.1 24.1

South Delta

50.7 13.7 6.8 26.0 2.7 7.4

Annual Income

Over $60,000

64.1 14.8 3.1 9.4 8.6 15.1

$3060,000

66.9 11.8 5.6 10.1 5.6 21.0

Under $30,000

51.8 5.2 10.9 26.4 5.7 63.9
Race

Black

56.5 7.9 8.5 21.9 5.2 63.1

White

51.1 9.4 9.4 16.0 14.1 36.9
Age

18 to 35

56.1 10.2 7.5 21.4 4.8 19.3

36 to 55

61.5 8.4 9.8 15.9 4.5 36.9

56 and Over

48.1 8.0 8.9 22.8 12.2 43.9

 

Single Parents

Values are percents Serious Problem Moderate Problem Minor Problem Not a Problem Don't Know % of Sample

All Respondents

55.4 9.5 8.4 19.3 7.4 100.0

County

North Delta

50.4 10.1 9.3 23.2 7.0 13.1

Coahoma

57.5 9.7 7.1 16.8 8.8 11.4

Bolivar

50.0 14.7 9.0 17.3 9.0 15.8

Sunflower

64.2 6.7 6.7 17.9 4.5 13.6

Leflore

51.4 6.8 10.3 22.6 8.9 14.8

Washington

60.1 8.0 9.2 16.8 5.9 24.1

South Delta

55.6 12.5 5.6 23.6 2.8 7.3

Annual Income

Over $60,000

66.4 12.5 4.7 10.2 6.3 15.1

$3060,000

67.4 11.2 6.7 8.4 6.2 20.9

Under $30,000

52.9 6.8 10.1 25.9 4.2 64.0
Race

Black

56.7 9.7 8.9 20.0 4.7 63.1

White

53.3 9.7 7.7 18.8 10.5 36.9
Age

18 to 35

57.5 11.8 8.1 19.4 3.2 19.2

36 to 55

64.1 7.8 7.3 17.9 2.8 36.9

56 and Over

48.3 10.1 10.1 21.2 10.1 43.8

 

Domestic Violence

Values are percents Serious Problem Moderate Problem Minor Problem Not a Problem Don't Know % of Sample

All Respondents

24.9 15.4 20.7 31.0 8.0 100.0

County

North Delta

19.5 7.0 25.0 39.8 8.6 12.9

Coahoma

26.5 23.0 18.6 22.1 9.7 11.4

Bolivar

22.9 10.8 26.1 31.8 8.3 15.8

Sunflower

23.7 23.0 22.2 25.9 5.2 13.6

Leflore

22.6 16.4 15.1 37.7 8.2 14.7

Washington

32.4 16.4 18.9 25.6 6.7 24.0

South Delta

20.3 10.8 20.3 41.9 6.8 7.5

Annual Income

Over $60,000

35.1 24.2 14.8 20.3 5.5 15.1

$3060,000

21.9 20.8 27.0 21.3 9.0 20.9

Under $30,000

25.6 11.6 21.9 36.0 5.0 64.0
Race

Black

24.7 12.4 22.6 33.6 6.6 63.1

White

25.1 20.2 18.2 27.3 9.1 36.9
Age

18 to 35

28.6 15.7 19.5 35.1 1.1 19.1

36 to 55

27.1 15.4 21.2 29.6 6.7 36.9

56 and Over

21.6 15.3 21.6 31.9 9.6 44.0

 

Illegal Immigration

Values are percents Serious Problem Moderate Problem Minor Problem Not a Problem Don't Know % of Sample

All Respondents

10.0 5.3 12.7 65.2 6.7 100.0

County

North Delta

10.8 4.6 13.8 68.5 2.3 13.1

Coahoma

4.5 9.8 8.0 70.5 7.1 11.3

Bolivar

13.5 1.9 14.7 60.3 9.6 15.7

Sunflower

7.4 3.7 17.0 67.4 4.4 13.6

Leflore

10.2 11.6 12.2 57.8 8.2 14.8

Washington

10.5 3.3 13.4 67.4 5.4 24.1

South Delta

13.7 5.5 6.8 67.1 6.8 7.4

Annual Income

Over $60,000

18.6 11.6 14.7 53.5 1.6 15.2

$3060,000

12.4 8.4 10.7 64.6 3.9 20.9

Under $30,000

7.4 4.0 13.6 68.6 6.4 63.9
Race

Black

6.3 3.6 11.6 72.2 6.3 63.0

White

16.8 8.5 14.9 54.0 5.8 37.0
Age

18 to 35

8.6 5.3 17.6 66.8 1.6 19.3

36 to 55

12.3 6.1 12.8 65.9 2.8 36.9

56 and Over

7.5 4.9 11.3 65.6 10.6 43.8

 


Notes:


Data for the 2007 Delta Rural Poll were collected in January, 2007. A total of 1,005 randomly selected Delta residents completed the questionnaire. The Delta Rural Poll surveyed residents of eleven counties in northwestern Mississippi:  Bolivar, Coahoma, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tunica and Washington.  Surveys were conducted by telephone and respondents were selected using random digit dialing techniques. 
Responses were weighted using the 2000 U.S. Census as a baseline, to account for skewed gender and race characteristics.

North Delta Counties are Tunica, Quitman and Tallahatchie.
South Delta Counties are Humphreys, Sharkey and Issaquena.
Annual Income is total household income from all sources for 2006.
Race is self-reported; less that 1% of respondents indicated a race other than White/Caucasian or Black/African American.