What Do You Know About Poverty in the US?

food-bank-food-pantry-poverty reuters david_McNewWhat comes to mind when you think of “poverty”? Do you know these facts about poverty?

From Joe Carter:

  1. How we measure poverty hasn’t changed in 50 years.
  2. The poverty threshold is based on a statistic (percentage of income that is spent on food) that has dramatically changed.
  3. The poverty line is currently about half of the median income in the US.
  4. Anti-poverty efforts by churches are not reflected in poverty calculations.
  5. The US government spends more to fight poverty than it would take to raise poor families above the poverty threshold.
  6. The poverty rate has decreased in the past 50 years, from 19% to 15%.
  7. The poverty rate among married couples is only 6%.
  8. The typical poor family in the US is far better off than the typical poor person in most other countries.
  9. About 100,000 people in the US are chronically homeless.

From Napp Nazzworth:

  1. Poverty hurts your ability to think.
  2. Poverty and obesity go together (in the US).
  3. Global poverty has decreased, while inequality has increased.
  4. Poverty among blacks has decreased in the past 50 years, while poverty among Hispanics have increased.
  5. Marriage matters.

Lastly, watch this short video for an answer to the basic question, “What Is Poverty?” (courtesy of the Chalmers Center):

Did you learn anything new? Or maybe you’d like to share your countering thoughts or questions?

Let us hear from you in the comments below, on Facebook, or Twitter.

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**image courtesy of David McNew via Reuters


2 thoughts on “What Do You Know About Poverty in the US?

  1. Joey, I am loving everything you write and post. I’m learning a lot from you thank you. I just want to be sure you know that Furman got a $500,000 gift yesterday from Alec and Susan Taylor of Charleston. Alec is on the board, a little bit older than Bruce, has been supportive of football, and his gift was given for poverty studies. Firm and does not want a poverty major, but wants all of our students to come out with the mind toward changing the world. I’m not sure how it will be used but I thought you needed to know that – perhaps you need to be involved in what goes forward. I know the story was posted on one of the fu websitesyesterday if I find it again I’ll forward it to you but you and Joanna need to know it and it might make sense for you to to be involved in some way. Press on to the prize!!! Sent from my iPad



    • Thanks, Mrs. Fowler!!

      I saw that article, and shared it on FB/Twitter. It’s really exciting — a great opportunity for the University to have a generation-changing impact.

      One of my colleagues has a great connection with the poverty studies department, so I’m sure he’s well aware.

      As for us, we’re doing a little after school today. It’s been fun. We have 13-14 kids each day. Love this opportunity!!


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