Reforming the U.S. Poverty Standard

Source: D. Sean Shurtleff, National Center for Policy Analysis, Brief Analysis, no. 640, January 20, 2009

Policy experts expect the next administration to make major changes in the way the federal government measures poverty. The current poverty standard is an outmoded, 40-year-old measure that is adjusted each year for inflation. It does not account for all of a family’s income or living expenses. Many poverty experts support changing the poverty standard. But how should that be done?

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