Click for an interactive graphic.

Source: NY Times


If you missed it over the weekend, Sunday’s New York Times had an amazing interactive graphic on where poverty is in the U.S.

Over the past 50 years, the poverty rate in the nation has fallen from 19 percent to 15 percent in essentially two generations.


Continues here


Category: Economy, Research, Wages & Income

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

6 Responses to “Mapping Poverty in America”

  1. supercorm says:

    Its not pauverty in America, but in the United States. I live in Canada, and just came back from Peru. Both are in America !

  2. Nordheim says:

    This demographic map is distorted in at least one respect; neighborhoods surrounding major universities, such as the University of Oregon in Eugene, can have a designated poverty rate close to double that of the Rose Bud tribal lands in South Dakota or inner-city Detroit, because most single college students living on and near campus have less than $11,945 of personal “income” per year. Yet their lifestyles and certainly their realistic aspirations are not that of peoples living in poverty for generations. A more accurate one-question index of poverty might be something like this: “Do you receive, or qualify for, food stamps?” The yes/no responses to that question do not have the mathematical properties so desired by statisticians, but perhaps might yield more accurate inferences about the country’s widely varied distribution of discretionary income.

  3. rd says:

    Apparently, one of the little tidbits in the article indicates that poverty among the elderly has dropped dramatically since LBJ declared his “War on Poveryt”:

    This would belie the concept of a retirement crisis, although significant cuts to SS and Medicare could create one. Payroll taxes are now about 15% of wage and salary income for low and middle class families. this is about the standard recommendation that financial planners recommend people save for retirement, so it should be enough to fund decent income and benefits down the road so that poverty among the elderly can generally be avoided for most of the population.

    If people work during their lives and save a reasonable percentage of their income in tax-deferred accounts on top of the payroll taxes, they should be able to be able to sustain a decent standard of living in retirement.

    I think that many of the retirement savings issues are due to the US economy being almost uniquely positioned in the developing world to allow for financial car wrecks derailing families’ financial plans. Education has gotten very expensive with a large reliance on student debt that cannot be discharged, the healthcare system is designed to generate very large medical bills (especially if a health problem results in a loss of job), and the economy is becoming more geared to have people subject to layoffs subsequently struggle to get much lower paying jobs.which is part of the rising income and wealth inequality trap. Solving these issues is more likely to solve the retirement “crisis” than anything else.

    • rd says:

      Some additional analysis of the poverty data is here:

      Basically, a high percentage of poor people are single mothers and fathers (mainly mothers) raising children. So a focus on subsidized day care for poor single parent families, food stamps for poor families with children, and school lunch/breakfast programs are probably high value programs to target improving the lot of children in poverty. These are the types of issues that my wife sees with a high percentage of students in her inner-city classroom every day. The primary key is figuring out how to break the cycle of poverty from one generation to the next, not punishing the next generation for being born to a poor parent.

      • intlacct says:

        1. I saw a graph somewhere that showed poverty falling among the elderly and hockey sticking for kids (since the Great recession).

        2. re: ‘solving’ our retirement ‘problem’: If I may be permitted to translate for the Republicans: “We are on the hook for $2-$6 tt for the expeditions we lied to foment, so the only fiscally responsible course is to maintain a standing army/budget rivaling cold war levels, work our people to age 70, and eliminate nationalized health care and put the elderly on vouchers.” Said another way: “we have enough money to kill and bribe Iraqis and Afghans, we just don’t have enuf money for health education and welfare for our people.”


  4. Fred C Dobbs says:

    how can the rate fall when it is defined to include the lower 20%?