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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Poverty declined modestly in 2016; government programs continued to keep tens of millions out of poverty



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Poverty declined modestly in 2016; government programs continued to keep tens of millions out of poverty // Economic Policy Institute Blog
http://www.epi.org/blog/poverty-declined-modestly-in-2016-government-programs-continued-to-keep-tens-of-millions-out-of-poverty/

From 2015 to 2016, the official poverty rate fell by 0.8 percentage points, as household income rose modestly, albeit unevenly, throughout the income distribution. This was the second year in a row that poverty declined, and at 12.7 percent, the official poverty rate in 2016 was statistically the same as it was in 2007, just prior to the Great Recession. The poverty rate remains significantly higher than the low point of 11.3 percent it reached in 2000.

Since 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau has also released an alternative to the official poverty measure known as the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM).1

The SPM corrects many potential deficiencies in the official rate. For one, it constructs a more realistic threshold for incomes families need to live free of poverty, and adjusts that threshold for regional price differences. For another, it includes as income many resources available to poor families, such as Medicare, food stamps, and other in-kind government benefits.

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