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Some important reports on poverty from Urban Institute Resources

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group (HMPRG)
September 14, 2009

UnderstandingPoverty

The shareof Americans living in poverty jumped to 13.2 percent in 2008—up significantlyfrom 12.5 percent the year before, new Census Bureau data reveal. For a familyof four, this means making ends meet on less than $22,000 ayear. In an arrayof timely analyses, Urban Institute researchers offer perspectives and insightsinto the circumstances of nearly 40 million poor men, women, and children. Thesereports, commentaries, and more are on the Urban Institute's "Understanding Poverty" website.

  • "Poverty in the United States,2008," by Greg Acs: "A key to avoiding poverty is work, but even amongworkers age 16 and over, poverty rates grew between 2007 and 2008 as wages andhours slipped."
  • "Testimony on Income and Poverty inthe United States: 2008," by Harry Holzer: "The worst is yet to come. Evenif the recession officially ends this year—meaning that the production of goodsand services in the economy begins to recover—the unemployment rate will likelycontinue to worsen for the rest of this year and into next year?. Real income,therefore, will continue to fall and poverty will continue to rise for a fewmore years—and almost certainly by much more than what we have witnessed between2007 and 2008."
  • "Rising Poverty ThreatensNeighborhood Vitality," by Margery Austin Turner: "In recent years, overalllevels of black-white segregation have been declining, albeit slowly, whilesegregation of Latinos has climbed. Although a growing share ofU.S. neighborhoods are racially andethnically diverse, low-income African Americans and Latinos in particularremain highly clustered in predominantly minorityneighborhoods."
  • "Transitioning In and Out ofPoverty," by Signe-Mary McKernan and Caroline Ratcliffe: Slightly more thanhalf of the U.S. population experiences povertybefore age 65. Roughly half of those who get out of poverty will become pooragain within five years.