As we approach the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty tomorrow, we’ve issued a new chart book and a commentary explaining the progress we’ve made in fighting poverty, the success of the safety net, and the factors that have kept poverty from falling further.
The commentary concludes:
All told, the nation has made substantial progress against poverty and poverty-related conditions over the last half-century. Although rising income inequality and growing numbers of single-parent families pushed upward on poverty, on balance poverty declined thanks in large part to the safety net improvements, along with other factors such as increases in education and women’s work and other changes in the family. Yet, poverty, inequality, and racial disparities remain high. Today’s challenge is to take what we have learned and strengthen efforts to reduce poverty and hardship and to promote broad economic opportunity.