Poverty in the United States
- Poverty in the United States
- What Happens to Families' Income and Poverty after Unemployment?
Sheila R. Zedlewski, Austin Nichols
- Is the Safety Net Catching Unemployed Families?
Austin Nichols, Sheila R. Zedlewski
- Fifteen Years After Welfare Reform Took Hold, How Well Does the Program Work?
- The Effects of the Safety Net on Child Poverty in Three States
Laura Wheaton, Linda Giannarelli, Michael Martinez-Schiferl, Sheila R. Zedlewski
- Is Poverty Incompatible with Asset Accumulation?
Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, Trina Williams Shank
- Reducing Poverty in Wisconsin: Analysis of the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute Policy Package
Linda Giannarelli, Kye Lippold, Michael Martinez-Schiferl
The number of Americans living in poverty in 2012 increased to 46.5 million, 15% of the population. But who? Our researchers study poverty’s demographics to understand who is poor, size up the poverty gap, and examine poverty trends and dynamics using both the official and alternative measures of poverty.
Place reinforces poverty. High-poverty neighborhoods can weigh down families trying to earn a living and raise kids. High crime, low-performing schools, and scarce job opportunities often plague poor communities—undermining families’ struggles to improve their lives.
Homelessness, poor health, hunger—poverty’s consequences can be severe. Growing up in poverty can harm children’s well-being and development and limit their opportunities and academic success. And poverty imposes huge costs on society through lost productivity and higher spending on health care and incarceration.
What works for fighting poverty? Our researchers study the effects of welfare reform, tax subsidies, Social Security, workforce development policies, and other anti-poverty programs. What could help? Social Security lifts many older adults out of poverty, but it needs an updated minimum benefit sufficient to raise all long-career, low-wage workers out of poverty. Public program rules that discourage poor families from saving and run counter to poverty reduction should be changed.
CAROLINE RATCLIFFE, SIGNE-MARY MCKERNAN
The U.S. child poverty rate has fluctuated between 15 and 23 percent for the past four decades, but far more children—37 percent—live in poverty at some point during their childhoods. Being poor at birth strongly predicts future poverty status. Using the PSID, this study finds that 49 percent of children who are poor at birth go on to spend at least half their childhoods living in poverty. In addition, children who are born into poverty and spend multiple years living in poor families have worse adult outcomes than their counterparts in higher-income families.
Publication Date: June 30, 2010