Category Archives: Poverty

Key Federal Food Program Helps 40 Million Americans

Source: Debra Miller, Council of State Governments, March 2011

From the summary:
Approximately 40 million Americans received monthly food stamp benefits in 2010, up from about 26 million in 2007. Increased unemployment during the recession was a major contributing factor to the growth in the number of Americans depending upon SNAP.
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Excel tables

Basic Economic Security Tables Index for The United States

Source: Wider Opportunities for Women, 2010

From the press release:
As Congress works to meet the April 8 deadline for a final budget deal for fiscal year 2011, a new report on family economic security details the challenges that many Americans face in covering their basic expenses and the additional hardships families could suffer as a result of proposed budget cuts. The national Basic Economic Security Tables TM (BEST) Index, developed by Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), a national organization that works to achieve economic independence for women and their families, finds that single workers need $30,012 a year – nearly twice the federal minimum wage – to cover basic expenses. Single-parents require nearly twice the income ($57,756) to support two children, while dual-income households with children require $67,920.

The 2011 HHS Poverty Guidelines One Version of the [U.S.] Federal Poverty Measure

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2011

Federal Register Notice, January 20, 2011 — Full text
Prior Poverty Guidelines and Federal Register References Since 1982
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Further Resources on Poverty Measurement, Poverty Lines, and Their History
Computations for the 2011 Poverty Guidelines

Reaching Those In Need: State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Rates in 2008

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, December 2010

From the summary:
One important measure of a program’s performance is the ability to reach its target population. This report – the latest in an annual series – presents estimates of the percentage of eligible persons, by State, who participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during an average month in fiscal year 2008 and in the 2 previous fiscal years.

This report also presents estimates of State participation rates for eligible “working poor” individuals (persons in households with earnings) over the same period. Although SNAP provides an important support for working families, the working poor has participated at rates that are substantially below those for all eligible persons. The addition of State-by-State information on participation among the working poor enables a comparison of these rates to the overall participation rates.

Nationally, the SNAP participation rate among all eligible persons was 67 percent (Leftin, 2010) in fiscal year 2008.1 The participation rate for eligible working poor individuals was significantly lower (in a statistical sense) at 54 percent.

State of Working America 2011

Source: Economic Policy Institute, February 14, 2011

The State of Working America has been the Economic Policy Institute’s flagship publication since 1988. The comprehensive economic data that has in the past been in book form is now available on this Web site for the first time in a searchable and highly user-friendly format. The data will be more accessible than ever before to academics, policy makers, the media, and the public. Unlike in the past, this year’s The State of Working America will not be published in book form (the next biennial print edition will appear in January 2013).

The State of Working America Web site presents data in eight broad issue areas: income, economic mobility, wages, jobs, wealth, poverty, health, and international comparisons. Providing a comprehensive examination of critical trends and economic measurements, the data on this site is presented to give readers a deep understanding of the effect of the economy on low- and middle-income American workers and their families.

U.S. Conference of Mayors 2010 Status Report on Hunger & Homelessness

Source: U.S. Conference of Mayors, December 2010

From the press release:
The survey will include results from 27 of America’s major cities (listed below) that highlight the impact of hunger and homelessness in metropolitan centers in the United States. For the past 23 years, The Conference of Mayors has reported on the status of hunger and homelessness in our nation’s cities, as well as the programs offered by many cities to help people in need of food, shelter and emergency assistance.
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More Than One in Ten American Households Relies on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance

Source: Jessica A. Bean, Marybeth J. Mattingly, Carsey Institute, Issue Brief, December 14, 2010

From the abstract:
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the most responsive federal programs to economic downturns, as evidence by the increases in SNAP use between 2007 and 2009. Nationally, more than one in ten households relies on SNAP benefits, and the rate is even higher in rural areas, with more than 13 percent of households reporting use. This brief examines the trends in SNAP use across the United States since the recession began in 2007 and considers the impact of legislation in the Congress on those who rely on SNAP to make ends meet.

3.3 Million People Kept Out of Poverty with Unemployment Benefits in 2009

Source: National Employment Law Project, Press Release, September 17, 2010 

The U.S. Census Bureau announced yesterday that during 2009, 3.3 million people, including 1 million children, were kept out of poverty with income support provided through unemployment insurance (UI). That’s 3.67 times the number of people whose incomes were kept above poverty levels during 2008, when unemployment benefits resulted in keeping 900,000 out of poverty. Moreover the protection from poverty provided by UI program in 2009 covered 2.8 million more Americans than it did in 2007 when the recession began.
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Census Data Show Large Jump in Poverty and the Ranks of the Uninsured in 2009
Source: Arloc Sherman, Danilo Trisi, Robert Greenstein and Matt Broaddus, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, September 17, 2010
Income, Poverty and Health Insurance in the United States: 2009
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, September 2010