Poverty USA

Zach, Caleb, and Natalie

Poverty Facts

Who lives in poverty USA?

  • ll those who make less than the poverty threshold - $24,000 a year for a family of 4
  • 13% of men lived in Poverty USA, and 16% of women lived in poverty. Along the same lines, the poverty rate for married couples in 2014 was only 6%–but the poverty rate for single-parent families with no wife present was up to 16%, and for single-parent families with no husband present 31%

Children in Poverty USA

  • 1.6 million children experience homelessness in a year
  • The national school lunch program provides low or no cost meals to children in poverty

Seniors in Poverty USA

  • About 10% of seniors are in poverty but the rising health care costs move that up to 14%

Ethnicity in Poverty

  • African Americans have the highest rate of poverty at 26%, Hispanics have a rate of 24%, whites have a poverty rate around 10%, and Asians are around 12%

Economic Poverty

  • Poverty threshold:
    • In 2014, the poverty threshold for one person was $12,000 and for two people it was about $15,000
    • 7% of the population—or 21 million people—live in deep poverty, with incomes at only 50% of their poverty thresholds.
  • Employment:
    • In 2014, the median income for family households was $68,000, and the median income for non-family households was $32,000.
    • In 2014, women who worked full time, year-round only made 79% of what men working full time, year-round made.
  • Food insecurity:
    • 14% of US households had difficulty providing enough food for their family. These rates are continuing to grow for those below the poverty line
    • Programs that help food-insecure households include SNAP (food stamps)

Poverty Map

  • There are only 3 states that have less than 11% of their population in poverty.
  • The states with the highest rates of poverty (above 17%) are all in the south
  • Kentucky:
    • The overall poverty rate is 19.1%
    • Child poverty rate is 26%
    • Senior poverty rate is 11.3%
  • Florida:
    • The overall poverty rate is 16.5%
    • Child poverty rate is 23.8%
    • Senior poverty rate is 10.5%
  • Massachusetts:
    • Overall poverty rate is 11.6%
    • Child poverty rate is 15.2%
    • Senior poverty rate is 9.3%

Snapshot of Poverty

We picked Carlos. He is 21 years old and lives with relatives in the city. He has always dreamed of being a chef. He borrowed money for culinary school after high school, but never finished. He has numerous items in his backpack. The first item is payday loans. They are a short-term answer for many people in poverty. These loans are for unexpected expenses. The consequence with payday loans is that the coats rise quickly and are nearly impossible to repay. New options for micro-credit would help people in poverty repay their loans faster. The second item is living wage. This helps many people work their way out of poverty. The federal minimum wage in today's society is $7.25. Many of today's workers never reach the 40 hour a week limit. Minimum wage jobs typically does not include vacation time or paid sick leave. The third item is transportation. Carlos does not have a car. Therefore, he cannot expand his search for work. Public transportation is the way most people in poverty get around. The final thing in his backpack is food assistance. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program keeps tons of people out of poverty. More than 1 in 7 people use this assistance program. Carlos can worry about others expenses such as housing, with the help of this program.

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