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Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

What to Watch for: Health Insurance Coverage

On Wednesday, Census will release estimates of the number of Americans without health insurance coverage in 2011. Other data and historical trends provide clues as to what the Census data are likely to show.

Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that in 2011, the number of uninsured Americans fell for the first time in four years.

The largest increase in coverage, according to the CDC, occurred among young adults, a group benefiting from an Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision allowing adult children up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ private insurance plans. Read more

What to Watch for: Poverty and Income

On September 12, the Census Bureau will release official poverty figures for 2011, as well as additional data related to the impact of various safety net programs in keeping people out of poverty last year. Read more

via Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, Economic Recession, News, Public Policy, , ,

A Third of Americans Now Say They Are in the Lower Classes | Pew Social & Demographic Trends

The percentage of Americans who say they are in the lower-middle or lower class has risen from a quarter of the adult population to about a third in the past four years, according to a national survey of 2,508 adults by the Pew Research Center.

Not only has the lower class grown, but its demographic profile also has shifted. People younger than 30 are disproportionately swelling the ranks of the self-defined lower classes.1 The shares of Hispanics and whites who place themselves in the lower class also are growing.

MORE via A Third of Americans Now Say They Are in the Lower Classes | Pew Social & Demographic Trends.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, Election 2012, News, Unemployment, ,

Global poverty: A fall to cheer | The Economist

THE past four years have seen the worst economic crisis since the 1930s and the biggest food-price increases since the 1970s. That must surely have swollen the ranks of the poor.

Wrong. The best estimates for global poverty come from the World Bank’s Development Research Group, which has just …

MORE via Global poverty: A fall to cheer | The Economist.

Filed under: access to education, Africa, Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, consumers, Culture Think, Demographic Change, News, WeSeeReason, World Events and Records, , ,

A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality — Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The broad facts of income inequality over the past six decades are easily summarized:

The years from the end of World War II into the 1970s were ones of substantial economic growth and broadly shared prosperity.

Incomes grew rapidly and at roughly the same rate up and down the income ladder, roughly doubling in inflation-adjusted terms between the late 1940s and early 1970s.

The income gap between those high up the income ladder and those on the middle and lower rungs — while substantial — did not change much during this period.

Beginning in the 1970s, economic growth slowed and the income gap widened.

Income growth for households in the middle and lower parts of the distribution slowed sharply, while incomes at the top continued to grow strongly.

The concentration of income at the very top of the distribution rose to levels last seen more than 80 years ago (during the “Roaring Twenties”).

Wealth (the value of a household’s property and financial assets net of the value of its debts) is much more highly concentrated than income, although the wealth data do not show a dramatic increase in concentration at the very top the way the income data do.

Data from a variety of sources contribute to this …

MORE via A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality — Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Filed under: access to education, Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, consumers, Demographic Change, Economic Recession, News, Political Economy, Public Policy, , ,

Extreme Poverty Down Globally, Up in U.S. | Connecting the Dots, What Matters Today | BillMoyers.com

Extreme Poverty Down Globally, Up in U.S.

March 7, 2012

by Lauren Feeney

First, the good news. A World Bank report released last week shows that extreme poverty is on the decline. The percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day decreased in every region of the developing world between 2005 and 2008. The fall was so steep that the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty has been met before the 2015 deadline.

This is contrary to the World Bank’s own prediction that the global financial crisis would lead to “a substantial deterioration in conditions for the world’s most vulnerable.”

But, as The New York Times explains, market conditions actually favored developing countries during the recession.

Economists had theorized that the credit crunch and recession would cause a flight to the safety of developed nations. But shortly after the recession, with growth stagnating in countries like the United States and in western Europe, the world’s investors plowed money into emerging markets.

China was the biggest success story — the ranks of the dire poor there decreased by 700 million between 1981 and 2008.

The bad news hits closer to home. The World Bank study doesn’t even bother to measure poverty rates in developed countries such as the U.S., Western Europe and Japan. But a new study from The National Poverty Center shows that the number of U.S. households living in extreme poverty (defined here as less than $2 a day per person) more than doubled from 1996 to 2011. The number of extremely poor children also doubled during that time, from 1.4 million to 2.8 million.

MORE via Extreme Poverty Down Globally, Up in U.S. | Connecting the Dots, What Matters Today | BillMoyers.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, Culture Think, Election 2012, Family Policy, News, Public Policy, Unemployment, WeSeeReason, , ,

National Poverty Center | University of Michigan

Findings

• Racial disparities in poverty result from cumulative disadvantage over the life course, as the effects of hardship in one domain spill over into other domains.

• In the U.S., one of every three African American children and one of every four Latino children live in poverty— two times higher than the rate for white children.

• By age three, white children have a significantly larger vocabulary than black children of the same economic class. The gap for race is as large as the gap for class, and remains the same through age 13.

• Whites report better overall health than blacks, Latinos, and Asians, even after controlling for poverty, education, and unemployment.

• States with more blacks and Hispanics on welfare are more likely to impose lifetime limits, family caps on benefits, and stricter sanctions for noncompliance.

• The collateral consequences of felony conviction—such as bans on entering many occupations, on voting, jury service, and receiving federal college loans and grants—harm both exoffenders and their communities.

• Residents of a predominately black or Hispanic neighborhood have access to roughly half as many social services as those in predominately white neighborhoods.

via National Poverty Center | University of Michigan.

Filed under: access to education, Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, Culture Think, Discrimination, Feminization of Poverty, News, Political Economy, Public Policy, Unemployment, WeSeeReason, ,

‘Poor’ Quote by Romney Seized on by His Critics – NYTimes.com

Obsessive attention to detail suffuses Mitt Romney’s candidacy for president, from the number of times staff members check the microphones at his rallies to their relentless …

MORE via ‘Poor’ Quote by Romney Seized on by His Critics – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Culture Think, Election 2012, News, Public Policy, WeSeeReason, ,

Bleak Portrait of Poverty Is Off the Mark, Experts Say – NYTimes.com

When the Census Bureau said in September that the number of poor Americans had soared by 10 million to rates rarely seen in four decades, commentators called the report “shocking” and “bleak.” Most poverty experts would add another description: “flawed.”

Concocted on the fly a half-century ago, the official poverty measure ignores ever more of what is happening to the poor person’s wallet — good and bad. It overlooks hundreds of billions of dollars the needy receive in food stamps and other benefits and the similarly formidable amounts they lose to taxes and medical care. It even fails to note that rents are higher in places like Manhattan than they are in …

MORE via Bleak Portrait of Poverty Is Off the Mark, Experts Say – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Behavioral Health Outcomes, Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, Economic Recession, Election 2012, Feminization of Poverty, ideology, News, Unemployment, WeSeeReason, , ,

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