Poverty Trends

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  • Poverty and Hardship Affect Tens of Millions of Americans
    December 20, 2007

    During the holidays, many Americans make a special effort to help the less fortunate. Sadly, there is no shortage of families in need.[i]  According to the latest government figures: 36.5 million Americans — roughly one in eight — live in poverty.[ii]  Despite relatively strong economic growth since 2001, poverty has remained stubbornly high, and today’s …
  • Income Inequality Hits Record Levels, New CBO Data Show:
    Arloc Sherman
    December 14, 2007

    Real after-tax incomes jumped by an average of nearly $180,000 for the top 1 percent of households in 2005, while rising just $400 for middle-income households and $200 for lower-income households, according to new data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).[1] This starkly uneven growth brought income inequality to its highest level since at …
  • New Data Show Income Concentration Jumped Again In 2005
    Aviva Aron-Dine
    Revised October 24, 2007

    Economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez recently made available an updated version of their groundbreaking data series on U.S. income inequality.[1]  The data are unique because of the detailed information they provide regarding income gains at the top of the income scale and because they extend back to 1913.  The data offer important insight into the distribution …
  • More Americans, Including More Children, Now Lack Health Insurance
    Revised August 31, 2007

    The number of uninsured Americans rose for the sixth consecutive year in 2006, to 47.0 million,[1], [2] and the number of uninsured children rose for the second straight year, to 8.7 million, according to Census data released on August 28.  Between 1998, the year the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) was implemented, and 2004, the number of uninsured children fell every …
  • Number and Percentage of Americans Who Are Uninsured Climbs Again in 2006
    Revised August 31, 2007

    New Census data show that in 2006, both the number and the percentage of Americans who are uninsured hit their highest levels since 1999, the first year for which comparable data are available, with 2.2 million more Americans — and 600,000 more children — joining the ranks of the uninsured in 2006. The new Census figures also show that while the overall poverty rate declined slightly …
  • Statement by Robert Greenstein on the 2006 Census Bureau Data on Poverty, Income, and Health Insurance
    Robert Greenstein
    Revised August 31, 2007

    The new Census figures are disappointing for the fifth year of an economic recovery —showing a significant decline in poverty for people over 65 but no significant decline in poverty for children or adults aged 18 to 64, and only a modest improvement in median income. In 2006, the poverty rate …
  • Hawaii's Income Tax on the Working Poor: A Post-Session Update
    Jason Levitis
    July 18, 2007

    On June 26, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle signed SB 1882, which expands Hawaii's refundable low-income tax credit.  The bill's passage follows a long debate about how best to cut taxes on Hawaii’s low-income working families, who face higher income taxes than such families in almost any other state.[1] SB 1882 provides important …
  • New Study Finds "Dramatic" Reduction Since 1960 In The Progressivity of the Federal Tax System
    Aviva Aron-Dine
    March 29, 2007

    In a new study, Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, economists who have done groundbreaking work on the historical evolution of income inequality in the United States, examine how the progressivity of the federal tax system has changed over time.[1]  Unlike previous analyses, theirs examines effective federal tax rates going back to 1960, including income, payroll, corporate, …
  • Share of National Income Going To Wages and Salaries at Record Low in 2006
    Aviva Aron-Dine and Isaac Shapiro
    Revised March 29, 2007

    Commerce Department data released today show that the share of national income going to wages and salaries in 2006 was at its lowest level on record  with data going back to 1929.[1]  The share of national income captured by corporate profits, in contrast, was at its highest level on record.[2] These findings reflect weak overall growth in wages and salaries — and rapid growth in …
  • A State EITC Is a Cost-Effective Way to Ease Hawaii’s High Income Tax Burden on the Poor
    Jason Levitis
    February 14, 2007

    Hawaii continues to impose a higher income tax burden on low-income working families than almost any other state. A costly tax cut enacted in 2006 did little to address this problem. As a result, Hawaii continues to collect income tax from families with income thousands of dollars below the poverty line. And families in poverty …
  • New CBO Data Show Income Inequality Continues to Widen
    Aviva Aron-Dine and Arloc Sherman
    January 23, 2007

    The Congressional Budget Office recently released extensive data on household incomes for 2004.[1] CBO issues the most comprehensive and authoritative data available on the levels of and changes in incomes and taxes for different income groups, capturing trends at the very top of the income scale that are not shown in Census data. The new CBO data document that income inequality continued to …
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