2020 Poverty Projections

Brief

2020 Poverty Projections

Initial US Policy Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Economic Effects Is Projected to Blunt the Rise in Annual Poverty

Abstract

To inform federal and state decisions about policies to mitigate material hardship created by the current economic and public health crises, Urban is using its Analysis of Transfers, Taxes, and Income Security (ATTIS) microsimulation model to project poverty rates for 2020. We project that without the current COVID response policies in place (no stimulus checks, and no expansions to SNAP or unemployment benefits beyond what would normally have occurred), the 2020 annual poverty rate will be 12.4 percent (39.5 million people in poverty, using our definition). The policy response lowers projected poverty to 9.2 percent (29.3 million people), more than 3 points lower than it otherwise would have been. We also present findings by demographic subgroups, and by state.

 

This brief was revised on July 9, 2020. On page 2, the 10 million people kept out of poverty this year by the COVID-19 response include 4.6 million white non-Hispanic people and about 900,000 people who are non-Hispanic and are Asian, another race, or multiracial. An earlier version misstated this information (as 5.9 million white non-Hispanic people).

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