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What Works to Reduce Poverty


As part of Policy Futures, we examine "what works" when it comes to federal and state policies and programs to reduce poverty and promote opportunity for low-income Americans. We synthesize and amplify the work of poverty researchers around the country on program effectiveness. This effort is designed to inform discussions about new investments in anti-poverty programs as well as reforms of, and funding levels for, existing programs.

In Focus: Safety Net Cut Poverty in Half 2013

Today’s economic security programs keep tens of millions of Americans out of poverty and has positive longer-term impacts on children.


Impact of the Safety Net

Click on a state to view its fact sheet.


Vegetables in market



Extensive research has found the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children to be a cost-effective investment that improves the nutrition and health of low-income families.

Mother and Child Outside



Previous analysis of Census data showed that safety net programs cut the poverty rate nearly in half.

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