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Improving How Poverty Is Measured: A Recommendation To Better Reflect Households’ Basic Needs

  • James Ziliak, Barbara Wolfe, Jane Waldfogel, Ingrid Gould Ellen, and Indivar Dutta-Gupta
  • July 26 2023
  • W103-2023

James P. ZiliakBarbara WolfeJane WaldfogelIngrid Gould Ellen

James Ziliak, Department of Economics and Center For Poverty Research, University of Kentucky
Barbara Wolfe, Departments of Economics, Public Affairs, and Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Jane Waldfogel, School of Social Work, Columbia University
Ingrid Gould Ellen, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, New York University
Indivar Dutta-Gupta, The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) offers recommendations for updating how poverty is measured in the U.S., with a special focus on the costs of child care and health care, as well as regional differences in housing costs. In this webinar, five members of the committee that produced the report will discuss their assessment of the current Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), accounting for basic needs and costs that were missing, and what a change from the SPM to a new Principal Poverty Measure would accomplish.

Recording of the Webinar

Additional Resources

Presentation Slides


Child Development & Well-Being, Children, Early Childhood Care & Education, Economic Support, Education & Training, Food & Nutrition, Food Assistance, Health, Health Care, Housing, Housing General, Means-Tested Programs, Place, Place General, Poverty Measurement, Social Insurance Programs, U.S. Poverty Measures