Poverty USA Webquest

By: Jake Ryan, Allie Just, and Chris Snyder

The Population of Poverty USA

  • As of 2014, 47 million (15%) of Americans were living in poverty USA
  • This rate is 2.3% higher than in 2007, one year before the economic Recession
  • This is the 4th consecutive year in which the poverty rate has not changed from the previous year's estimate

Who lives in Poverty USA?

  • Americans who earn less than the government-determined poverty threshold, or poverty line
  • For a family of 4, this number is $24,000

Demographically:

  • Men: 13%
  • Women: 16%
  • Married couples: 6%
  • Single-parent families (without husband): 31%
  • Single-parent families (without wife): 16%
  • People with disabilities: 29%
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Children in Poverty USA

  • 15.5 million children (21%) lived in poverty in 2014; this is approximately 1 in every 5 children
  • According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, about 1.6 million children experience homelessness every year (as of 2012)
  • The National School Lunch Program helps poverty-stricken children by providing low to no-cost meals― they served about 31.6 million children in 2012
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Seniors in Poverty USA

  • In 2014, 10% of seniors were in poverty
  • However, including the Supplemental Measure's findings of rising costs of health care, the senior poverty rate was about 14%
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Poverty by Ethnicity

  • Blacks: 26%
  • Hispanics: 24%
  • Asians: 12%
  • Whites: 10%
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Economics (Poverty Threshold)


  • The Poverty Threshold (poverty line) is determined by the US government and differs based on family size and family members' age
  • 21 million (7%) of the population live at 50% below their poverty threshold; this is known as deep poverty
  • 105 million (33%) live with incomes at less than 2x (double) their poverty threshold; this is known as living close to poverty
  • In 2014…
    • An Individual: $12,000
    • Two people: $15,000
    • Three people: $19,000
    • Four people: $24,000
    • Five people: $29,000
    • Six people: $32,000
    • Seven people: $37,000
    • Eight people: $41,000
    • Nine+ people: $49,000
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Economics (Employment)

  • Median household income was unchanged 2013-2014― it remained 7% liwer than 2007
  • In 2014…
    • Median income for family households: $68,000
    • Median income for non-family households: $32,000
  • The Wage Gap (2014):
    • 74% of men with earnings worked full time, year round
    • 61% of women with earnings worked full time, year round
    • However, these women earned only 79% of the wealth that the men were, even though the amount of time spent working was equivalent
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Economics (Food Insecurity)

  • Food insecurity: when households have difficulty providing enough food for everyone living there
  • 17 million (14%) US households were food insecure in 2014
  • Federal food and nutrition assistance programs, such as SNAP (food stamps), helped 61% of these households
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Poverty Map

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Snapshots of Poverty

· Carlos's Backpack:

· He is living with relatives and has dreamed of becoming a chef after high school; so he borrowed money for culinary school but couldn’t afford to finish.

· He works a minimum wage job, but he is busy looking for a better paying job so that he can pay off his student loans and other bills

· Annual income: $10,250

· Single person poverty threshold: $11,702

· Payday Loans: He uses payday loans to help pay his bills

· Living wage: a living wage helps people get out of poverty― Carlos is below minimum wage

· Transportation: public transportation is his only means of transportation

· Food assistance: the SNAP program keeps millions of people out of poverty USA; with snap Carlos can pay for other expenses

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Relationship Map

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