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November 30, 2023

Evaluating the Success of the War on Poverty Since 1963 Using an Absolute Full-Income Poverty Measure

Abstract We evaluate progress in the War on Poverty as President Lyndon B. Johnson defined it, which established a 20% baseline poverty rate and adopted an absolute standard. While the official poverty rate fell from 19.5% in 1963 to 10.5% in 2019, our absolute full-income poverty measure—which uses a fuller income measure and updates thresholds…

October 17, 2023

Understanding Poverty Measurement

COSM scholars and AEI affiliates include some of the nation’s foremost experts on poverty measurement. On October 17, COSM gathered several of these scholars to provide a primer on opportunity in the United States. Angela Rachidi began by exploring the meaning of poverty, outlining the most fundamental decisions in measuring it and describing how different…

September 12, 2023

Measuring Poverty: The New Census Estimates and the Future of Poverty Measurement

Join AEI’s Center on Opportunity and Social Mobility for the release of the Census Bureau’s 2022 income and poverty estimates. AEI’s poverty experts will break down the numbers and discuss what they mean for the United States’ economic well-being. Then, they will discuss the state of poverty measurement and how it can be improved in…

August 23, 2021

Policies to Help the Working Class in the Aftermath of COVID-19: Lessons from the Great Recession

By Richard V. Burkhauser, Kevin C. Corinth, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated government-mandated shutdowns caused a historic shock to the U.S. economy and a disproportionate job loss concentrated among the working class. While an unprecedented social safety net policy response successfully offset earnings losses among lower-wage workers, the risk of…

July 2, 2021

Addressing the Shortcomings of the Supplemental Poverty Measure

Key Points Read the PDF. Executive Summary The US Census Bureau publishes the Supplemen­tal Poverty Measure (SPM) each year to provide important information on low-income Americans’ well-being. In early 2021, a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) panel formed to evaluate and recommend improve­ments to the SPM. To inform the NASEM panel and…