Census Bureau Changes Flawed Poverty Metric

Monday, November 07, 2011

rusty American flag, poverty A rusty American flag. (Michael Rosenquest/flickr)

When the Census Bureau announced that a record number of Americans live below the poverty line it did so using an old metric that has not been changed, apart from adjustments for inflation, since it was hastily conceived in 1963. Starting Monday, the Census Bureau will use a new metric — taking into account such federal assistance like food stamps and such costs as rent, medical and child care, for the first time.

Jane Waldfogel, professor of social work at Columbia University, talks more about this change in the metric.

Comments [2]

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Jun. 14 2012 02:41 AM
Susan Kline

Speaking of poverty, I wish someone could explain to me why there has been a drastic reduction in the amount of food the federal and state government are supplying the food banks with this year and no one seems to raise an eyebrow over it. I feel like shouting from the roof tops or somewhere that we have no food! Does anyone care? I've run a food pantry in Mass. for 6 years and this is unprecedented and unconscionable that there is so little food to give our increasing number of clients. It's very sad. My take away is please remember your food pantries this season and all year long. They need it.

Nov. 07 2011 09:25 AM

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