Urban Institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

The Low-Income Working Families project builds on more than a decade of research under the Assessing the New Federalism project, which followed struggling families as many left welfare.

About the Project
The Low-Income Working Families (LIWF) project tracks the well-being of low-income families over time and analyzes the risks these families face. Our researchers identify the factors that contribute to poor outcomes for these families and policy options that would reduce barriers and promote meaningful work for adults and positive outcomes for children.

This project is made possible through generous funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Low Income Working Families Project
 

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an Urban Institute project

In 2011, 39.6 percent of American families were living below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Many of these families struggle daily to make ends meet, even if they work. The LIWF project tracks the well-being of low-income families over time and analyzes the risks they face. The project identifies factors that contribute to poor outcomes for these families and the policy options that improve their well-being. Studies cover diverse experiences of low-income working families under six major topics:

  • INNOVATIONS IN NEW YORK CITY HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES POLICY
    A series of briefs on innovations to service delivery for New York City residents undertaken during the Bloomberg administration.

  • RACE, PLACE, AND POVERTY
    A series of briefs and an interactive map providing a geographic and demographic snapshot of low-income men, examine their education, employment, health, and heightened risk of incarceration and disenfranchisement.

  • ECONOMIC SECURITY
    Documents the experiences of low-income working families and examines the factors that contribute to economic security.

  • THE SAFETY NET
    Examines the public and publicly subsidized programs that support working families trying to provide adequately for their families and advance to higher-paying jobs.

  • BETTER LIFE CHANCES FOR CHILDREN
    Examines child welfare, child poverty, children of immigrants, child care, and vulnerable youth with a lens on what promotes or hinders positive child and youth development.

  • RACIAL AND ETHNIC DISPARITIES
    Studies how race, ethnicity, and nativity affect the circumstances of low-income working families and how family structure, work effort, earnings, and education levels affect economic outcomes.