Document date: September 10, 2009
Released online: September 10, 2009
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Slightly more than half of the U.S. population experiences poverty at some time before age 65. Roughly half of those who get out of poverty will become poor again within five years. Who is more likely to enter poverty? How long are people poor? And what events are associated with falling into and climbing out of poverty? This fact sheet summarizes key findings from the poverty dynamics literature to describe how, why, and when people move in and out of poverty.
Understanding how, why, and when families move in and out of poverty can reveal a more complete picture of the nation’s poor than a static poverty rate provides. Exploring the trends and patterns of poverty shows who are the short-term and long-term poor, how likely people are to fall into or get out of poverty, and how long families stay poor. It can also uncover which events lead people into poverty and which ones help them escape.
(End of excerpt. The fact sheet is available in PDF format.)
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