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Census Poverty Rate Higher

Census Poverty Rate Higher - An alternate measure of poverty that takes into account several of the government’s most effective antipoverty programs shows the 2009 poverty rate was lower than the government’s official measure, underscoring the breadth of the government’s antipoverty efforts during the recession but also adding fuel to the long-running debate about how best to gauge who is poor and if their lives have gotten better or worse.

The official poverty rate for 2009, reported last year, was 14.3%, up 1.1 percentage points from a year earlier, the fastest jump since 1994. The threshold for poverty in the U.S. in 2009 was a family of four earning $21,756.

The problem with the official measure, many economists say, is that it is a gauge of income and doesn’t take into account a myriad of non-cash government programs — such as food stamps, rent assistance and the Earned Income Tax Credit — that are used to combat poverty.

And, indeed, when such programs are taken into account the poverty rate stayed flat in 2009. A measure of poverty that measures after-tax income, but includes noncash benefits, pegs the poverty rate at 10.9%, the same rate as in 2008, according to an analysis of recently released Census data by Bruce Meyer, an economist at the University of Chicago.

Census Poverty Rate Higher

Comments

Anonymous said…
IT WOULD HELP EVERYONE IF THEY WOULD REMOVE FROM THE POVERTY STATISTICS ALL THOSE WHO HAVE EITHER CHOSE OR THEIR RELATIVES OF THOSE WHO CHOSE AN ABNORMAL LIFE STYLE. NOT THAT THESE PEOPLE DON'T NEED ASSISTANCE BUT LETS SEPARATE THE LOSERS FROM THE THE REAL NEEDY.
IN THE LOSER GROUPS ARE THE DROPOUTS, THE EARLY TEENAGE PARENTS, THE DRUG ADDICTS AND THE UNMARRIED WOMEN WITH MULIPLE KIDS BY MULTIPLE DONORS.

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