Concentrated Poverty in the Twin Cities

Areas of poverty expanding in St. Paul, Met Council finds, By Frederick Melo, March 7, 2017, Twin Cities Pioneer Press: “After plateauing following the recession, poverty rates have dipped slightly in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area but increased in St. Paul. In St. Paul, areas of concentrated poverty are expanding, especially around the East Side and North End.  Those are some of the findings in a recent Metropolitan Council analysis of data from the decennial U.S. Census and American Community Survey. The survey produces demographic estimates based on survey samples collected over one-year and five-year periods…”

Child Poverty – California

  • More than a quarter of Orange County’s youngest kids lives in poverty, By Margot Roosevelt, February 23, 2017, Orange County Register: “A quarter of California’s children under age six were living in poverty, more than 750,000, as the state emerged from the Great Recession, according to new data from nine local regions on income, demographics, cost of living, social safety programs and other factors…”
  • The Bay Area cities and neighborhoods with the most and least child poverty, By Alix Martichoux, February 23, 2017, San Francisco Chronicle: “The Bay Area is well-known as one of the most expensive places to live in the country. And while the Bay Area is home to quite a few millionaires, a large segment of the population is living in poverty. Many of those people are young children.  The Public Policy Institute of California released a report Wednesday that shows nearly 25 percent of children in California live in poverty…”

Global Poverty

Global poverty declines even amid economic slowdown, World Bank says, By Maria Hollenhorst, October 2, 2016, National Public Radio: “The number of people living in extreme poverty is continuing to plunge, despite the 2008-09 financial crisis and slowing global economic growth, according to a World Bank study released Sunday.  In the report, ‘Poverty and Shared Prosperity,’ the World Bank says the progress proves that eliminating extreme poverty is an achievable goal…”

Poverty in the United States

Millions in U.S. climb out of poverty, at long last, By Patricia Cohen, September 25, 2016, New York Times: “Not that long ago, Alex Caicedo was stuck working a series of odd jobs and watching his 1984 Chevy Nova cough its last breaths. He could make $21 an hour at the Johnny Rockets food stand at FedEx Field when the Washington Redskins were playing, but the work was spotty.  Today, Mr. Caicedo is an assistant manager at a pizzeria in Gaithersburg, Md., with an annual salary of $40,000 and health benefits. And he is getting ready to move his wife and children out of his mother-in-law’s house and into their own place. Doubling up has been a lifesaver, Mr. Caicedo said, ‘but nobody just wants to move in with their in-laws.’  The Caicedos are among the 3.5 million Americans who were able to raise their chins above the poverty line last year, according to census data released this month. More than seven years after the recession ended, employers are finally being compelled to reach deeper into the pools of untapped labor, creating more jobs, especially among retailers, restaurants and hotels, and paying higher wages to attract workers and meet new minimum wage requirements…”

Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015

  • Median incomes are up and poverty rate is down, surprisingly strong census figures show, By Don Lee, September 13, 2016, Los Angeles Times: “The economic recovery is finally providing relief to America’s long-running problem of stagnant middle-class incomes.  The Census Bureau’s unexpectedly-rosy annual report on poverty and incomes, released Tuesday, showed the biggest improvement in decades on both fronts…”
  • Middle class incomes had their fastest growth on record last year, By Jim Tankersley, September 13, 2016, Washington Post: “Middle-class Americans and the poor enjoyed their best year of economic improvement in decades in 2015, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday, a spike that broke a years-long streak of disappointment for American workers but did not fully repair the damage inflicted by the Great Recession…”
  • The middle class gets a big raise … finally!, By Tami Luhby, September 13, 2016, CNN Money: “After years of watching their incomes go nowhere, America’s middle class finally got a big raise last year.  Median household income rose to $56,516 in 2015, up 5.2% from a year earlier, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau Tuesday. It marks the first increase in median income since 2007, the year before the Great Recession started…”
  • U.S. household income grew 5.2 percent in 2015, breaking pattern of stagnation, By Binyamin Appelbaum, September 13, 2016, New York Times: “Americans last year reaped the largest economic gains in nearly a generation as poverty fell, health insurance coverage spread and incomes rose sharply for households on every rung of the economic ladder, ending years of stagnation…”
  • Has the American economy hit a turning point?, By Deirdre Fernandes and Evan Horowitz, September 13, 2016, Boston Globe: “Middle-class Americans finally got a raise in 2015. And it was a big one.  After years of glacial economic growth and stagnant wages, median household income jumped 5 percent, or nearly $3,000, from 2014, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau. That’s the first meaningful increase since 2007 and the biggest bounce on record, offering fresh evidence that this economic recovery is now reaching a broader swath of American workers…”
  • Americans got raise last year for first time since 2007, By Christopher Rugaber and Jesse J. Holland (AP), September 13, 2016, Miami Herald: “In a long-awaited sign that middle-class Americans are finally seeing real economic gains, U.S. households got a raise last year after seven years of stagnant incomes. Rising pay also lifted the poorest households, cutting poverty by the sharpest amount in nearly a half-century…”
  • Things are getting a lot better for the working poor, By Max Ehrenfreund, September 13, 2016, Washington Post: “Last year marked the greatest improvement in the typical American family’s finances on record, according to a new annual report from the Census Bureau, especially for the working poor…”

Politics and Poverty

  • The millions of Americans Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton barely mention: The poor, By Binyamin Appelbaum, August 11, 2016, New York Times: “The United States, the wealthiest nation on Earth, also abides the deepest poverty of any developed nation, but you would not know it by listening to Hillary Clinton or Donald J. Trump, the major parties’ presidential nominees.  Mrs. Clinton, speaking about her economic plans on Thursday near Detroit, underscored her credentials as an advocate for middle-class families whose fortunes have flagged. She said much less about helping the 47 millions Americans who yearn to reach the middle class.  Her Republican rival, Mr. Trump, spoke in Detroit on his economic proposals four days ago, and while their platforms are markedly different in details and emphasis, the candidates have this in common: Both promise to help Americans find jobs; neither has said much about helping people while they are not working…”
  • Trump, Clinton largely avoid talking about poverty on the 2016 campaign trail, By Chris Baker, August 11, 2016, Syracuse Post-Standard: “Can we talk about poverty for a minute? Because no one on the national campaign trail is.  In the lead-up to the presidential election this year, there has been a noticeable lack of discussion about one of America’s most persistent struggles. We’ve heard about jobs, walls, ISIS, Russia and emails, but both candidates have largely skirted large scale issues affecting the poor…”

Elder Poverty

Many more elderly people are dying in poverty than we thought, new measurement shows, By Amrith Ramkumar, August 1, 2016, Miami Herald: “When Donald Trump says almost four in 10 black American youths live in poverty, he’s technically correct. According to the official poverty measure, 36 percent of African-Americans under the age of 18 fell below the poverty line in 2014. The problem with that statistic is that the official poverty line is a flawed measurement. It doesn’t take into account benefits like food stamps and tax credits, so unlike the more recent supplemental poverty measure, it can’t account for the fact that earned income and child tax give-backs lower the poverty rate by 3.1 percentage points, and food stamps (formally known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits) cut it by 1.5 percentage points…”

Wisconsin Poverty Report

Report sheds new light on problem of poverty in Wisconsin, By Bill Glauber, June 26, 2016, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Despite an increase in jobs, there was no reduction in poverty in Wisconsin between 2013 and 2014 under a broad measure developed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin.  Monday’s release of the eighth Wisconsin Poverty Report, produced by the Institute for Research on Poverty, showed that the poverty rate remained flat.  Unlike the federal government’s official poverty measure — which is based on pretax cash income — the Wisconsin Poverty Measure accounts for family income and government benefits…”

Poverty in the UK

A third of people in the UK have experienced poverty in recent years, By Katie Allen, May 16, 2016, The Guardian: “One in three people have experienced poverty in recent years, according to figures that underline the precarious nature of work in Britain. Anti-poverty campaigners welcomed news that the proportion of people experiencing long-term, or persistent, poverty had declined to one of the lowest rates in the EU. But they highlighted Britons’ relatively high chances of falling into poverty as the latest evidence that a preponderance of low-paying and low-skilled jobs left many families at risk of hardship…”

Elder Poverty – California

Poverty rate jumps among California seniors, By Claudia Buck and Phillip Reese, March 26, 2016, Sacramento Bee: “The older you are, the poorer you get.  For a growing number of California seniors living on the edges of poverty, that’s the uncomfortable reality.  In the Sacramento region, the number of residents 65 and older living at or below the federal poverty line – $11,400 for a single individual – roughly doubled from 2005 to 2014, according to a Sacramento Bee review of U.S. census data. That means 28,000 seniors, or 9 percent of the region’s elderly population, are officially considered poor.  Statewide, the number of impoverished residents age 65 and older increased by 85 percent, to roughly 520,000, between 1999 and 2014, more than double the rate of population growth among the elderly…”

Poverty Rate – New Jersey

  • Record number of N.J. residents living in poverty, study finds, By MaryAnn Spoto, November 15, 2015, Star-Ledger: “More New Jersey residents are in poverty now than in the past five decades and the outlook for the future is bleak, according to a report released Sunday, which aims to redefine the definition of poor in the state. The findings in the study done for Legal Services of New Jersey, an organization based in Edison that gives free legal help to low-income residents in civil cases, paint a grim picture for those in the middle and lower classes. The reports also notes more families have remained in poverty since the 2008 Great Recession…”
  • Report: One-third of N.J. residents in ‘true poverty’, By Shannon Mullen, November 16, 2015, Daily Record: “If you’re living paycheck to paycheck or falling behind on bills, you’ve got plenty of company.  Nearly one-third of New Jersey households can’t make ends meet, the highest percentage since the 1960s, according to a new report issued by Legal Services of New Jersey.  The state’s official poverty rate stood at just over 11 percent in 2014. But Legal Services, an Edison-based non-profit organization that provides legal aid to thousands of low-income state residents each year, says federal poverty income guidelines aren’t telling the full story…”

Poverty Measurement – California

California’s economy is booming, so why is it No. 1 in poverty?, By Chris Kirkham, November 13, 2015, Los Angeles Times: “From a quick glance at the headline numbers, California’s economy looks to be in its strongest shape in years. Over the last four years, California has added jobs at a rate faster than all but six other states, and faster than the U.S. overall. The state unemployment rate is at 5.9%, the lowest since November 2007, and significantly below the 25-year average of 7.5%…”

Poverty Measurement in the US

The growing problem that has serious implications for the poor, By Roberto A. Ferdman, November 2, 2015, Washington Post: “For decades, the U.S. government has used the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) to calculate several of the most important measures of national well-being. The CPS reaches roughly 100,000 households each year and captures important information about poverty and other things. And that’s a problem, because, over time, the survey has become a misrepresentation of what is actually happening.  That, at least, is the conclusion of an important new paper looking at how well we measure poverty—and how well we take into account the impact of the safety net…”

Global Poverty Measurement

The tricky work of measuring falling global poverty, October 12, 2015, The Economist: “‘This is the best news story in the world,’ said Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, of the announcement this month that the proportion of the world living in poverty is now in single digits, at 9.6%. The claim has rekindled a long smouldering debate over the reliability of such statistics.  Counting the poor is no easy task. The Bank bases its poverty figures on household surveys, which are undertaken by developing countries every few years…”

Human Needs Index – Indiana

New poverty index shows continuing need in Indiana, By Maureen Groppe, October 7, 2015, Indianapolis Star: “Indiana is taking longer to recover from the Great Recession than the nation as a whole, according to a new poverty measure released Wednesday by Indiana University and the Salvation Army. The Human Needs Index tracks services provided by the Salvation Army for food, shelter, clothing, health and well-being. Researchers at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis said the index provides a more timely and detailed measure of need than government poverty statistics…”

Deep Poverty – Philadelphia, PA

Among the 10 largest cities, Philly has highest deep-poverty rate, By Alfred Lubrano, September 30, 2015, Philadelphia Inquirer: “Philadelphia has the highest rate of deep poverty among America’s 10 biggest cities, an examination of federal data by The Inquirer shows. The city is already the poorest in that group. Deep poverty is measured as income of 50 percent or less of the poverty rate. A family of four living in deep poverty takes in $12,000 or less annually, half the poverty rate of $24,000 for a family that size…”

Global Poverty Line

Planet’s poor set to swell as World Bank revises poverty line, By Shawn Donnan, September 23, 2015, CNBC: “The World Bank is to make the most dramatic change to its global poverty line in 25 years, raising its measure by a half to about $1.90 per day in a move likely to swell the statistical ranks of the world’s poor by tens of millions…”

Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014

  • U.S. poverty rate and incomes remained stagnant in 2014, report says, By Don Lee, September 16, 2015, Los Angeles Times: “Despite steady job growth and a sizeable drop in the unemployment rate, the nation’s poverty rate showed no improvement last year, and the typical American household, once again, saw no real gain in income…”
  • Health care gains, but income remains stagnant, the White House reports, By Robert Pear, September 16, 2015, New York Times: “Nearly nine million people gained health insurance last year, lowering the ranks of the uninsured to 10.4 percent of the population. But there was no statistically significant change in income for the typical American household in 2014, the Obama administration said on Wednesday…”
  • Household income, poverty numbers stay about the same, By Jesse J. Holland (AP), September 16, 2015, Christian Science Monitor: “The wallets of America’s middle class and poorest aren’t seeing any extra money, the U.S. Census reported Wednesday, a financial stagnation experts say may be fueling political dissent this campaign season. The Census Bureau, in its annual look at poverty and income in the United States, said both the country’s median income and poverty rate were statistically unchanged in 2014 from the previous year…”
  • American wages remain at 1997 levels as recovery fails to lift middle class, By Jana Kasperkevic, September 16, 2015, The Guardian: “On average Americans are still earning the same wages they were in 1997 and 46.7 million are still living in poverty, seven years after the 2008 crash, according to the US census bureau…”

Child Poverty in the US

  • The shocking reach of U.S. child poverty, By Aimee Picchi, September 11, 2015, CBS News: “America’s childhood poverty numbers aren’t pretty, but they are even uglier than you might think. Take a snapshot of the U.S. today, and you’ll find that 22 percent of all children live in families that are below the federal poverty level. But what happens when you look at how American children fare throughout their pre-adult lives? It’s nearly twice as bad…”
  • Two in every five U.S. children spend at least a year in poverty, By Nick Timiraos, September 9, 2015, Wall Street Journal: “Childhood poverty is far more prevalent than annual figures suggest, a new paper says, with nearly two in every five U.S. children spending at least one year in poverty before they turn 18 years old. The findings from Caroline Ratcliffe, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, show particularly stark divides along racial lines. Black children fare much worse. Some 75% are poor at some point during their childhood, compared to 30% of white children…”

Elder Poverty – California

UCLA study finds million-plus elderly Californians in poverty, By Dan Walters, August 31, 2015, Sacramento Bee: “More than 300,000 elderly Californians are officially poor, as measured by the federal government, but their numbers triple to more than 1 million when the ‘hidden poor’ are counted, according to a new study from UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research…”