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Tomorrow’s Poverty Numbers Will Help Measure Strength of Safety Net

October 15, 2014

The Census Bureau will release poverty statistics tomorrow that will allow us to determine how well the safety net reduced poverty in 2013.  Our analysis of figures released last year showed that the safety net cut the poverty rate nearly in half in 2012, from 29.1 percent to 16.0 percent (see graph).

Income Inequality Remains at Historic High, Census Data Show

September 18, 2014

Income inequality remained near a record high in 2013 by several measures the Census Bureau released earlier this week, with data going back to 1967. The principal Census summary measure of household income inequality, known as the “Gini coefficient,” was not statistically different from the...

High-Income Households Receive Growing Share of Nation's Income

Tomorrow's Poverty Data Will Give Only Partial Picture

September 15, 2014

As our preview of tomorrow’s Census release of 2013 poverty data explains, the official poverty statistics are based on pre-tax cash income, so they omit support like SNAP (formerly food stamps) and rental subsidies, as well as tax-based assistance...

SNAP and the Fight Against Extreme Poverty

November 18, 2013

“Food stamp recipients already took a cut in benefits this month, and they may face more [cuts]” as Congress considers slashing program funding, Nicholas Kristof’s latest New York Times column points out.  Kristof focuses on the potential impact on children, many of whom the program — now called...

SNAP and Unemployment Insurance Kept Millions Out of Poverty Last Year, Census Supplemental Poverty Measure Shows

November 6, 2013

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) and Unemployment Insurance (UI) — two programs facing deep cuts — lifted millions of people above the poverty line in 2012, according to a CBPP analysis of Census Bureau data released today (see chart).


Income Inequality Remains at Record High, New Census Figures Show

September 17, 2013

The shares of the nation’s income going to each of the bottom 60 percent of households in 2012 remained at 2011’s record low levels in data that go back to 1967, today’s Census Bureau report shows.  The share going to the top 20 percent was statistically unchanged at last year’s record highs (see graph).

The bottom 20 percent of households received just 3.2 percent of...

New Research Shows SNAP, Facing Big Cuts in the House, Reduces Extreme Poverty

June 17, 2013

Even as the House prepares this week to cut SNAP (formerly food stamps) by $21 billion and push 2 million low-income people off the program, new research shows that SNAP is the most effective program pushing against the steep rise in...

The Myth That Single Mothers Don’t Work

October 9, 2012

For several decades, policy debates about cash assistance for very low-income families have focused almost exclusively on work requirements:  what work activities should welfare recipients have to perform, and for how many hours, to remain eligible?  These work requirements, in turn, are rooted in a basic assumption:  that mothers who have never been married and who have a high school...

Who Doesn’t Owe Federal Income Tax — In One Graph

September 20, 2012

Given all the talk about who does or doesn’t pay federal income taxes and what this means for tax policy, here are a few basic facts.

  • The vast majority (83 percent) of households who owe no federal income taxes are either working households that pay payroll taxes (61 percent) or elderly (22 percent).

    To make those people pay
  • ...