The November 2011 issuance by the U.S. Census Bureau of a new Supplemental Poverty Measure has rekindled interest in questions that have been raised at various times over the nearly half century since the first official measures were published. This posting explores the perceived flaws of the official poverty measures, as well as the features of the unofficial alternative measure recently unveiled by the Census Bureau and the broader issues raised by the contrast between the two.
Cohabiting Couples and Their Money
Money-sharing by cohabiting couples is the topic of this article, which focuses on the Census Bureau’s new alternative measure of poverty. Cohabiting couples are much less likely to be considered poor under the alternative measure than the official measure of poverty’; the major reason is that the alternative measure assumes such couples share expenses, while the official measure assumes they are separate economic units.
Comparing Two Census Measures of Poverty
The Census Bureau has just published the results from its new alternative measure of poverty, called the Supplemental Poverty Measure, and they differ notably from the poverty rates shown by the official measure that’s been used since the 1960s. A new report by the Pew Hispanic Center compares results under both measures for key demographic groups.
Adding Context to the Census Bureau’s Income and Poverty Report
Pew Research Center reports can add context to the Census Bureau’s release of 2010 data on U.S. income, poverty and health insurance coverage. These Pew Research Center reports, linked to in this article, have documented the impact of the Great Recession and shaky recovery on Americans’ wealth, work lives, personal finances and emotional well-being.