Child Poverty Rate Overstated by One-Third

A calculation commissioned by the New York Times goes beyond the official measure by counting benefits like food stamps, work expenses, taxes, and the cost of living:

Among children, it showed poverty rates falling to 15 percent, from 22 percent, in the official count. That removes about 5.2 million children from poverty. That drop is broadly consistent with what the Urban Institute researchers found in Massachusetts, Illinois and Georgia — an average decline in child poverty of about 24 percent. It also falls sharply for women ages 25 to 39 — many of them mothers….

What elements of the new measure lift people from poverty? The Times examined the characteristics of those Americans considered poor by the official count, but not poor by the alternate. About 70 percent lived in households that received food stamps a year. A third lived in households with housing subsidies and 19 percent lived in households that received the earned income tax credit.

Comments (4)

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  1. Paul H. says:

    Good to see this post.

  2. Brian says:

    Statistical inflation and manipulation is to be expected at every other U.S. agency.

  3. Giuilliane says:

    Did 5.2 million children really come out of poverty or did the definition of poverty change?

  4. Brian Williams. says:

    Does that mean I can quit occupying Wall Street and go home?