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The Safety Net’s Powerful Antipoverty Impact

October 27, 2015

Safety Net Cut Poverty Rate in Half in 2012Safety net programs are even more effective at reducing poverty than previously thought once you correct for households’ underreporting of the benefits they receive, Vox’s Dylan Matthews...


Safety Net Programs Lift Millions From Poverty, New Census Data Show

September 16, 2015

Safety net programs — from Social Security to food and housing assistance to working-family tax credits — kept millions of people above the poverty line in 2014, today’s Census data using the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) show (see chart). 

Because the SPM includes taxes and non-cash benefits, it gives...

In Focus: Safety Net Programs Kept Millions Out of Poverty in 2014

Bills Shortchanging Census Highlight Need for Sequestration Relief

September 11, 2015

November 12, 2015: This post has been updated to correct the names of the committees covered by the House funding bill.

As Congress seeks to finalize 2016 funding levels for discretionary programs, House and Senate proposals to fund the Census Bureau would risk raising taxpayer costs in future years and undermining the quality of demographic and economic data that help shape...


Brain Studies Highlight Importance of Anti-Poverty Policies for Children

August 6, 2015

New studies using brain scan technology vividly illustrate the harm associated with growing up poor.  These findings underscore the importance of policies to improve poor children’s environments, scientists say.

Young Children Sitting

CBPP, AEI Researchers Agree: Don’t Cripple Census

June 10, 2015

The American Enterprise Institute's (AEI) Andrew Biggs and I are together urging the Senate to adequately fund Census Bureau preparations for the 2020 census and maintain the mandatory nature of the American Community Survey (ACS), the main source of annual demographic data for understanding and responding to state and local needs.

Although our organizations frequently disagree on...

Tables, Calculator, and Magnifying Glass

Underfunding Census Is Pound Foolish

June 2, 2015

The House will begin considering a funding bill today that provides far less than the Census Bureau needs to finalize new planned cost-saving measures for the 2020 census, potentially forcing it to use older and more expensive methods.  That could raise the cost of conducting the census by $5 billion, the Bureau...

Charts and Graphs With Pen

Safety Net Has Shifted — Lifting Some Families, Leaving Others Behind

May 11, 2015

We’ve explained how our closer look at government data shows that the safety net was even more effective in 2012 than earlier studies had shown.  Our new follow-up paper reveals...

Percent of Children in Poverty and "Deep Poverty" Under Official and Expanded Poverty Measures

Safety Net Cuts Poverty by More Than Half

May 6, 2015

The safety net cut the poverty rate from 29.1 percent to 13.8 percent in 2012 and lifted 48 million people above the poverty line, including 12 million children, our new paper shows. ...

In Focus: Safety Net Cut Poverty Rate in Half in 2012

Safety Net Lifted 39 Million Americans out of Poverty in 2013

March 17, 2015

As the House Ways and Means Committee holds a hearing today on empirical evidence for poverty programs, it’s worth recalling that safety net programs cut poverty nearly in half in 2013, lifting 39 million people out of poverty.  The figures rebut claims that government programs do little to reduce poverty....

Plan Would Cut Child Poverty by 60 Percent

January 29, 2015

America could reduce child poverty by 60 percent by investing another 2 percent of the federal budget each year in programs that boost employment and low wages and help meet children’s basic needs, a new Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) report...