Better Life Chances for Children

Research suggests that the conditions children are raised in affect their development in a number of areas. This project examines interventions to help children cope with trauma, instability, and life in poverty, and methods to prevent such occurrences. One promising area of work under investigation emphasizes two-generation strategies that help parents provide a better environment for their children.

Children of Immigrants Data Download Tool

The Children of Immigrants Data Tool provides easy access to demographic information on the characteristics of immigrant and native children at the national, state, and metro levels.

Children of Immigrants Visualization

Explore data from the The Children of Immigrants Data Tool in an interactive map-based format. 

Economic Security

The well-being of low-income families can be affected by sudden and unpredictable events, such as illness or job loss. The Great Recession highlighted the vulnerability of these families. The LIWF project explores their experiences during booms and busts and examines the factors that influence economic security in the changing economic climate.

The Net Income Change Calculator

If a low-income family earns more money, how much will the family's benefits from safety-net programs go down, how much will state and federal income and payroll taxes change, and how much will the family's total income go up? The Net Income Change Calculator allows a user to test a scenario and then shows the results for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities

A family’s race and ethnicity can have significant effects on their ability to thrive. The LIWF project studies how race, ethnicity, and nativity affect the circumstances of low-income working families and how differences in family structure, work effort, earnings, and education levels affect economic outcomes.

Safety Net for Low-Income Working Families: Work Supports

America's low-income working families are struggling to get by, too often forced to make impossible choices between food, housing, health care, and child care. Government safety nets were reformed in the mid-1990s with the promise that work would pay. But that promise remains unfulfilled for many families. Researchers investigate the challenges that vulnerable households face and examine the public and publicly subsidized programs that support working families who are trying to make ends meet and advance to higher-paying jobs.


Past Projects

Innovations in New York City Health and Human Services Policy (2013–14)

During his 12 years as mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg and his administrative team made several changes in health and human services delivery for city residents. Urban Institute researchers documented policy and program changes in eight areas. The lessons learned will help other policymakers as they face the challenge of improving service delivery and resident outcomes.

Race, Place, and Poverty (2011–13)

A large number of US men are neither gainfully employed nor pursuing education or other training. These men face a significant disconnection from mainstream economic and social life. Researchers created a geographic and demographic snapshot of low-income men and examined their education, employment, health, and heightened risk of incarceration and disenfranchisement.