Tuesday, January 7, 2014

One In Three Americans Lived In Poverty For At Least Two Months In Recent Years

The bad news: in the period from 2009 to 2011, 31.6% of Americans were in poverty for at least two months, "a 4.5 percentage point increase over the prerecession period of 2005 to 2007. What one assumes is the good news, is that poverty was a temporary state for most people. Still 3.5% of Americans were in poverty for the entire three-year period."

It is not exactly clear how that small number foots with the nearly 50 million Americans on foodstamps (whose benefits were just cut by a substantial percentage).

Then again, one needs to read further in the report to realize that even the good news is not all that good: "poverty was a persistent condition for many; among the 37.6 million people who were poor at the start of the period — January and February 2009 — 26.4 percent remained poor throughout the next 34 months." And once again there are good and bad news:

The many people escaped poverty: 12.6 million, or 35.4 percent, who were poor in 2009 were not in poverty in 2011.  That's the good.

As some moved out of poverty, others moved into it. About 13.5 million people, or 5.4 percent, who were not in poverty in 2009 slipped into poverty by 2011.  That's the bad.

Netting the "churn", nearly 1 million Americans dipped into poverty more than they dipped out of it. Along the lines of what one would expect in a New Normal "recovery." Read more >>

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