- Enid Borden, president and CEO, Meals On Wheels Association of America
- Constance Citro, director, Committee on National Statistics, The National Academies
- Jason DeParle, correspondent, New York Times (moderator)
- Linda Giannarelli, senior fellow, Income and Benefits Policy Center, Urban Institute
- Kristin Moore, senior scholar, Child Trends
Does changing a word’s definition change reality? What might a new definition of poverty mean to Washington policymakers and to the nation’s neediest citizens?
The Census Bureau recently released poverty numbers for 2010 based on a new Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). Unlike the official poverty measure devised in the 1960s, the SPM captures the effects of government benefits, such as food stamps, housing assistance, and tax credits. It also updates calculations of minimal need, reflects housing costs in each state, and deducts expenditures for critical goods, such as health care.
The new numbers, reflecting current policy and government spending, show some dramatic changes in U.S. poverty: the child poverty rate declines 19 percent, the elderly rate increases 35 percent, and nearly a third of families have incomes between 100 and 200 percent of poverty (compared to a fifth using the official definition).
This forum will discuss what the new poverty numbers mean for children and the elderly, whether poverty thresholds should vary across the country, and how a new definition of poverty might change federal and state safety net policies.
- Disturbing Research Reveals Senior Hunger State by State
- Measuring Poverty: A New Approach
- Older, Suburban and Struggling, ‘Near Poor’ Startle the Census
- Bleak Portrait of Poverty Is Off the Mark, Experts Say
- Voices of the Near Poor
- Understanding Poverty
- Two Generations in Poverty: Status and Trends among Parents and Children in the United States, 2000-2010
- Children in Poverty: Trends, Consequences, and Policy Options
At the Urban Institute
2100 M Street N.W., 5th Floor, Washington, D.C.