Census Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates

  • Rising child poverty rates could be a ‘taste’ of what’s ahead, By Ron Scherer, November 29, 2011, Christian Science Monitor: “In a troubling snapshot of the declining finances of Americans, considerably more school-age children are living in poverty than in the pre-recession year of 2007, the US Census Bureau reported Tuesday. Of all 3,142 counties in the US, 653 counties saw significant increases in poverty for children ages 5 to 17, according to the 2010 Census Bureau survey. Only eight counties saw a decrease. Nationally, 19.8 percent of schoolchildren qualify as poor – and one-third of all counties now have child poverty rates above that threshold. About one quarter had child poverty rates significantly lower than the national average…”
  • More schoolchildren in Central Texas living in poverty, By Juan Castillo, November 29, 2011, Austin American-Statesman: “About 1 in 4 school-age children in Travis, Bastrop and Caldwell counties lived in poverty in 2010 – higher than the national average – and the poverty rate for schoolchildren has risen since the recession began in 4 of 5 counties in the Austin metro area, according to census estimates Tuesday reflecting the effects of the weakened economy…”
  • Wisconsin schools see more children in poverty, By Erin Richards and Ben Poston, November 30, 2011, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “More than four out of 10 school-aged children in Milwaukee are living in poverty, a jump of nearly 10 percentage points from 2007, according to new estimates released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau that underscore another effect of the Great Recession. The percentage of children in poverty residing in the Milwaukee Public Schools district rose to 41% in 2010 from 32.4% in pre-recession 2007, according to the bureau’s 2010 income and poverty estimates for all counties and school districts…”
  • Alabama struggles with number of children living in poverty at 27.4%, By Kim Chandler, November 30, 2011, Birmingham News: “More than one in four Alabama children live in poverty — a figure that has jumped since the recession began in 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday. In 2010, 27.4 percent of children age 18 and under in Alabama lived in poverty. The percentage was 23.6 percent in 2007…”
  • Poverty rate soars among S. Florida kids, By Donna Gehrke-White, Dana Williams and Cara Fitzpatrick, November 30, 2011, South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “The poverty rate for school-age children skyrocketed in South Florida from 2007 to 2010 with thousands of parents thrown out of work during the Great Recession. In Broward and Palm Beach counties, about one in five children ages 5 to 17 live in poverty, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. In Miami-Dade, nearly one in four children fall below the poverty level. The huge increase in poverty among school-aged children places the three South Florida counties in the nation’s top 20 percent of counties experiencing the steepest jump in child poverty, according to the Census Bureau data…”
  • Fresno County has state’s highest poverty rate, By Kurtis Alexander, November 29, 2011, Fresno Bee: “Soaring unemployment has pushed California’s poverty rate up for three straight years — but nowhere higher than in Fresno County, according to new Census data. The nearly 250,000 county residents living in poverty in 2010 gives Fresno County claim to the state’s highest poverty rate, at 26.8%. Almost 70,000 more people lived in poverty last year than in 2007 when the recession began. Statewide, 15.8% were impoverished, the census data show, up 3.4 percentage points from three years ago…”
  • Poverty rates varied greatly among Oklahoma counties in 2010, By Chris Casteel, November 30, 2011, The Oklahoman: “Poverty rates jumped in some of the poorest and richest counties in Oklahoma in 2010, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released Tuesday that show Okfuskee County had the highest rate last year, with 27 percent of its residents in poverty…”

Poverty Measurement in the US and Canada

  • The Near Poor: Many educated, employed Americans struggle to make ends meet, By Elizabeth Stuart, November 30, 2011, Deseret News: “Federal poverty statistics may not paint an accurate picture of how Americans are getting along economically, two new studies suggest. About 45 percent of U.S. residents who are not considered poor by federal standards don’t have enough money for basic expenses like housing, food and health care, according to a new study by the advocacy group Wider Opportunities for Women. And the number of people hovering just above the federal poverty threshold is 76 percent higher than official records indicate, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data published in the New York Times…”
  • In U.S., Canada, new measures of the poverty line, By Miles Corak, November 28, 2011, Globe and Mail: “U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Rebecca Blank — a capable, no-nonsense, PhD in economics, and a former Dean at the University of Michigan — to his new administration, and told her to answer a simple question: How should the United States measure poverty? Blank did an end-run around the sad politics that has characterized discussions of poverty measurement in the U.S. by having the Census Bureau develop an entirely new indicator that reflects the realities of participating in contemporary American society…”

Poverty Measurement – China

  • China raises poverty line, increasing number of official poor by 100 million, Associated Press, November 29, 2011, Washington Post: “Even with its booming economy, China now has more poor people – at least officially. A sharp upward revision in the official poverty line, announced by the government Tuesday, means that 128 million Chinese in rural areas now qualify as poor, 100 million more than under the previous standard. The new threshold of about $1 a day nearly doubles the previous amount. While the revised poverty line is still below the World Bank threshold of $1.25 a day, the change brings China closer to international norms and better reflects the country’s overall higher standards of living after three decades of buoyant growth…”
  • China increases rural poverty limit to $1 a day, November 29, 2011, BBC News: “China has redefined the level at which people in rural areas are considered poor to include everyone earning less than $1 a day (6.5 yuan). Previously people in the countryside were only regarded as poor if they earned less than 55 cents a day. The move should see millions more people get access to state benefits. Some 27 million people were classified as rural poor last year. The new threshold is expected to increase that number fourfold…”

States and Children’s Health Insurance Coverage

  • Study: Even with more kids in poverty, number of uninsured children fell 14% over 3 years, Associated Press, November 29, 2011, Washington Post: “Even with more children living in poverty because of the rough economy, the number of children without health insurance in the U.S. has dropped by 1 million in the past three years, according to a report released Tuesday by Georgetown University. Many states have expanded eligibility for, and simplified access to, the children’s Medicaid program. This has helped shrink the number of uninsured children from 6.9 million in 2008 to 5.9 million in 2010. Experts say the Affordable Care Act, the federal health care overhaul that requires states to maintain income eligibility levels and discourages other barriers to coverage, has played a key role in the improvement…”
  • Safety-net programs insure more Texas children, By Todd Ackerman, November 29, 2011, Houston Chronicle: “Houston-area children’s health insurance is increasingly being provided by government safety-net programs as employers cut jobs and benefits, according to a new study. The survey, sponsored by Texas Children’s Hospital, found that in the last three years, area children’s enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program doubled as coverage through work-based plans decreased significantly. This shift comes in a state known for not embracing government health programs…”
  • Number of uninsured Minnesota kids climbs, By Jeremy Olson, November 29, 2011, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: “The number of children without health insurance rose sharply in the past two years in Minnesota, making it the only state to see a significant increase since 2008, according to a report released Tuesday. Uninsured Minnesota kids totaled 84,000, although that number could fall again as a result of changes enacted by the Legislature in 2009. The uninsured rate rose from 5.8 to 6.6 percent. While Minnesota’s rate remains better than the national average of 8 percent, the state is no longer among the nation’s best…”
  • Utah lags behind other states in covering kids, By Kirsten Stewart, November 29, 2011, Salt Lake Tribune: “Even as unemployment and child poverty has grown, the uninsured rate for children nationally – and in Utah – has shrunk, an analysis of census data shows. From 2008 to 2010 the number of American children living in poverty rose 19 percent, while the number of uninsured children fell 14 percent, according to a report released Tuesday by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families. How, given the high cost of health care, is this possible? Two words, say Georgetown researchers: Medicaid and CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program…”