Some people seem trapped in poverty, some go in and out and far less escape entirely.
Poverty rates in the US have risen and fallen with the economy. The current poverty rates is estimated at 13.7%. Higher than 1973.
Social safety nets (SNAP, Medicaid) and tax credits are said to reduce poverty, but that is not accurate. They make life for the poor more tolerable, but they don’t address the basic problems that cause and perpetuate poverty. If you remove the value of safety nets, the actual poverty is much higher.
🥺 Single-mother families as a share of all families with children grew substantially during the past 50 years. Single-mother family poverty rates, however, have decreased by 10 percentage points since 1964. In 2014, 39.8 percent of single-mother families were poor, more than double the rate for all families with children.
🥺 For decades, Black and Hispanic Americans have had official poverty rates about two to three times higher than those for non-Hispanic Whites. Trends over time show progress in shrinking the race-ethnic poverty gap. Yet, poverty rates in 2014 for both Blacks and Hispanics were double the rate for non-Hispanic Whites. [In part from discrimination, but also because single mother family rates and graduations are aligned with race]
🥺 Educational attainment has increased substantially among the full population since the 1960s. But official poverty among those without a high school degree remains about 15 percentage points higher than for those who completed high school. Of particular concern, Black men with a high school degree or less education have experienced acutely steep decreases in employment levels since the late 1960s.
🥺 Poverty continues to be concentrated more heavily in some neighborhoods than others, and in certain regions and areas of the country. Over the course of the past 50 years, both the concentration of poverty and overall poverty rates have remained high in the South and have increased in the West. When areas experience very high levels of family poverty, the entire community can face great challenges.
All this begs the question. How do we address the fundamental problems?