Poverty by the Numbers

Poverty by the Numbers

Who is poor and why? What happens when the Census Bureau decides to change the way poverty is measured...

For fifty years, the Census Bureau used a basic poverty measure that did not take into account factors like the local cost of living, tax credits, or safety-net programs. But new numbers released this week, called the Supplemental Poverty Measure, provide a much more complex picture of poverty, significantly changing the numbers for seniors and children. We look at ways this new data may affect policy debates about people struggling to make ends meet both locally and nationally.


Jenny Reed

Policy Analyst, DC Fiscal Policy Institute

Sheila Zedlewski

Fellow, Urban Institute

Kat Aaron

Project Editor, Investigative Reporting Workshop, American University School of Communication

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.