What are the different types of poverty and the statistical trends nationally? Poor – defined as a family of 3 making less than $17,300 a year (estimated at 46.1 million Americans or 15% of the US population). This has increased from 11 to 15% from 2000 to 2010. 1 in 5 American children are poor. 1 in 3 Black children are poor.
Deep or extreme poverty defined as a family of 3 making less than $8,700 a year (estimated at 20.5 million Americans). This is an increase of 8 million or 3% from 4 to 7% since 2000. 20% of this group is children. 33% of black children live in extreme poverty.
Near or in poverty defined as a family of 3 making less than $26,100 a year (estimated at 75.9 million Americans). This has increased from 20 to 25% from 2000 to 2010.
What are some common themes in the poverty trend data nationally?
Percentage of People in Poverty by Race (2010) This has remained relatively constant over the past twenty years (from 1990 to 2010) – White (10%) Black (27%) Latino (27%) Asian (12%) American Indian (26%) The only exception is a decrease in poverty by race in the Black population by 5% (32% to 27%)
Percentage of People in Poverty by Gender (2010) As of 2010, 14% of men and 16% of women in the U.S. population live in poverty. This has remained fairly consistent over the past 20 years.
Percentage in Poverty by Education (2010) With regard to education the percentage of people living in poverty had the following educational profile – Less than a high school diploma (30%; an increase of 5% since 1990) High School Diploma (15%; an increase of 5% since 1990)) Some College or Assoc Degree (11%; an increase of 4% since 1990) Bachelors or more (5%; an increase of 2% since 1990)
Percentage in Poverty by Age (2010) Age 0-5 (26%) Age 6-17 (20%) Age 18-24 (22%) Age 25-34 (15%) Age 33-44 (13%) Age 45-54 (11%) Age 55-64 (10%) Age 65+ (9%)
Percentage in Poverty by Family Type (2010) Dual headed Household with kids (10%) Dual headed Household with no kids (4%) Single Male headed Household with kids (26%) Single Male headed Household with no kids (18%) Single Female headed Household with kids (42%) Single Female headed Household with no kids (21%)
What are the poverty trends locally? 11.6% or approximately 57,000 people lived in poverty in Dane County (2006-10, U.S. Census data). 11.6% or approximately 660,000 people lived in poverty in Wisconsin (2006-10, U.S. Census data).
Children in Poverty In Wisconsin 177, 800 children were living in poverty in 2005; this increased to 248,000 (or by 70,200) in 2010 (Kids Count, 2012). This represents a 39% increase of children living in poverty within a five year period.
People in Poverty In Dane County the percentage of people living in poverty jumped from 9.4% in 1999 to 12.2% or 57,781 people in 2010. In Madison, for the same time period, the percentage of people in poverty jumped from 15 to 18.7% or 43,610 people (American Community Survey, 2010).
Youth in Poverty In Dane County, for people younger than 18, the rise in poverty was more dramatic than the general population - from 7.2% in 1999 to 11.4% in 2010, over a 4% increase. In Madison, the increase was from 11.4% to 17.1%, almost a 6% increase. (American Community Survey, 2010).
People in Extreme Poverty The number of people living in extreme poverty (family of 4 making less than $11,000) was 6.5% in Dane County or 30,785 people, and 9.8 percent or 22,854 people in Madison. Both were greater than the statewide average of 5.6% or 319,859 people. (American Community Survey, 2010).
People in Poverty 1 out of 8 people in Dane County live in poverty. 1 out of 15 live in extreme poverty. 1 out of 5 people in Madison live in poverty. 1 out of 10 live in extreme poverty. 1 out of 9 people in the State of Wisconsin live in poverty. 1 out of 17 live in extreme poverty.
Median Income From 1999 to 2010, the median household income dropped 10% in Dane County to $58,661. In Madison the drop was 8% to $58,661. (American Community Survey, 2010).
Free and Reduced Lunch Data 2007 to 2011 All school districts in Dane County experienced an increase in students enrolled in free and reduced lunch ranging from a 2% increase in Waunakee to a 13% increase in Marshall. (Source Department of Public Instruction, State of Wisconsin)
What programs have effectively addressed poverty? Social Security Food Stamps – this has been an effective tool during the Great Recession with recipients numbering 46 million presently up from 26.3 million in 2007. Earned Income Tax Credit Programs like these have kept 40 million people out of poverty. Poverty would be nearly double without programs of this kind.
What keeps us from being more effective in addressing poverty? Many people are working in low wage jobs. 104 million Americans – or a third of the population have incomes below twice the poverty line, less than $38,000 for a family of three. Half of US jobs pay less than $34,000 a year A quarter of US jobs pay below the poverty line of $23,000 annually for a family of four.
There has been a dramatic increase in “extreme poverty” ( a family of three making less than $9,500 or below half the poverty line). 20.5 million people now live in extreme poverty, up 8 million since 2000.
Six million people have no income other than food stamps. Many households are headed by single parents. Poverty in families headed by a single mother exceed 40%. Cash assistance has nearly disappeared for low income mothers and children.
Over the past 12 years the safety net for single mothers and their children has been dramatically reduced. Welfare programs have been dramatically reduced. In the mid 90s more than two thirds of children (more than 66%) in poor families received welfare from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF. Over the past decade this has decreased to 27%. Many states have reduced cash assistance benefits and caseloads. Even in our challenged economy cash assistance caseloads have risen only 15 % from 3.9 million to 4.5 million since 2007. TANF now covers less than 20% of poor children.
Issues of race and gender result in higher poverty among minorities and families headed by single mothers. Minorities are disproportionately poor even though whites make up a majority of the poverty population. 27% of minorities are poor in comparison to 10% of whites. Approximately 47% of African American children born in poverty will remain in poverty.
What strategies do we need to implement to reduce poverty? Create more jobs that pay decent wages. Support a full employment economy. Continue and increase support for programs that have reduced poverty (e.g. Food stamps; Social Security; EITC) Make higher income people pay their fair share of taxes. Raise the minimum wage. Provide health care. Maintain and enhance our safety net resources. Mobilize self help networks at the local level outside of the cash economy.
Many studies have validated that the presence of voluntary, positive, social, interactive reciprocal networks or associations between people improve outcomes for individuals, families, and entire communities. With decreased funding for social programs at the federal, state, and local level we have to put increasing effort on mobilizing resources in our own community to help ourselves and others. Why are approaches like Timebanking important with regard to a discussion about how to respond to poverty?