Poverty: Families: Characteristics of Families

The overall percentage of families below the poverty threshold.
The overall percentage of families below the poverty threshold.  

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Real Median Income Gained as Poverty Held Steady in 2007
Published Friday, July 24th, 2009

The new report on the US official poverty rate released by the US Census Bureau called “Income, poverty and health insurance coverage in the United States: 2007” has stated that real median household income in the United States climbed 1.3% between 2006 and 2007, reaching $50,233. The US official poverty rate in 2007 was 12.5% (37.3 million), which is steady from 2006 (36.5 million). This and other influences has lead the number of people without health insurance coverage to decline from 47 million (15.8%) in 2006 to 45.7 million (15.3%) in 2007.

Broken down, minorities also gained in real median income adjusted for inflation, which rose between 2006 and 2007 for black ($33,916 in 2007) and non-Hispanic white households ($54,920 in 2007), the first such increase since 1999. However, for Asians ($66,103 in 2007) and Hispanics ($38,679 in 2007) real income did not change. The family poverty rate and the number of families in poverty were 9.8% and 7.6 million, unchanged from 2006. As for Female-householders/No-Husband-Present the rate was 28.3% (a decrease of 2.8 percentage points) and 13.6% for those with male householder and no-wife-present. The US Office of management and budget has updated the weighted average poverty threshold for a family of four in 2007 as $21,203, for a family of 3 at $16,530, 2 at $13,540, and 1 at $10,590.

Posted in Jobs, Minorities, Poverty | No Comments »

Welfare Rolls Shrink from Some Hard Hit Areas
Published Friday, July 3rd, 2009

According to Health and Human Services, the welfare rolls have been rising in most states over the last year. In the some of the hardest-hit areas, one would think the rolls would raise the most; yet, the numbers are decreasing. Utah is leading the trend as rolls have increased by 29% more cases than last year. Yet, Michigan, a state facing the highest unemployment, has experienced 4.8% reductions in welfare rolls. Authorities suggest that some may be leaving the state for better prospects or the ones who are staying are receiving unemployment benefits. The usual assistance provided by unemployment puts many beyond the eligibility of welfare. Some advocates believe the strict provision of the 1996 revamp of Welfare System has slowed down applicant’s entry into welfare. Nationally, Texas, Georgia, Indiana, Alaska, Montana, New Jersey, and Nebraska all have falling rolls.

As of 2006, the most current data from the Current Population Reports, the Federal Poverty Threshold or poverty line for families of 4 rest at $20,614, an increase of nearly $5,000 from a decade ago. The most vulnerable, children, as of 1996 had experienced near 23% poverty rate; this had dropped to 15% by 2000 and increased after to 17% by 2006. Likewise, families experienced the same rate of decline and leveling to 10.8%; those with only female heads-of-households reached 30.7%.

Posted in Minorities, Poverty | No Comments »

Report Predicts Child Well-Being Index to Worsen
Published Thursday, May 28th, 2009

According to the Child and Youth Well-Being Index Project at Duke University, gains made since 1975 in family economic well-being could be endangered over the next few years. The measure of family economic well-being is measured by a combination of poverty rate, median annual income, parental employment and health insurance coverage for children. The report describes a connectivity between the different measures and predicts that more than one out of five American children will live in poverty in 2010, with African-American and Hispanic children experiencing twice the level of poverty.

The United States has remained near the bottom of the industrialized countries in regards to child poverty rates, exceeded only by that of Mexico. The rate of child poverty in the US has in recent years flattened at the rate of 16.9% as of 2007. As for the other measures of the index, the average hourly real earnings for US workers has shrunk to $8.23 an hour (1982 dollars) in 2008. Except for the Asian population, the characteristics of families living in poverty suggest that children are more likely to live with their mother and be impoverished. Plus, since 2000, the number of children enrolled to the SCHIP (State Child Health Insurance Program) has more than doubled from 2000 to 7.145 million in 2007.

Posted in Economics, Healthcare, Poverty, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Equal Pay, Unequal Poverty
Published Thursday, February 5th, 2009

The first piece of legislation that President Obama signed was a bill called the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which relaxed the workers’ rights to sue by relaxing the statute of limitation to 6 months from every time a worker gains a paycheck. Lily’s law came from the battle she experienced from suing her former employer for years of back pay from when she was paid less than her male colleges. The lower courts agreed with her, but as the case went to the Supreme Court, it was overturned and Lily only got 6 months back pay from the last check she received. During Bush’s term, Congress launched an unsuccessful bill that would overturn the Court’s decision. Bush’s reasoning pointed to inciting more lawsuits and a potential for employees to wait and pile up rewards before filing suit. The resurgence of bipartisan support for the bill has indicated the belief on both sides in the need for such legislation.

The hope for this bill is that it will try to correct the tendency of women to be paid less than their male counterparts, as well as to be disproportionately impoverished.  For every race except Asian, the percentage of those female heads of households who experience poverty is double their male counterparts and triple married couples.

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Learn More

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Poverty - http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/
The Department of Health and Human Services is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.

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The Department of Health and Human Services: Administration for Children and Families - http://www.acf.hhs.gov/
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a federal agency funding state, territory, local, and tribal organizations to provide family assistance (welfare), child support, child care, Head Start, child welfare, and other programs relating to children and families.