Who is poor in the United States? A Hamilton Project annual report

Who are the millions of people living in poverty in the United States? In 2016, 40.6 million people, or 12.7 percent of the population, lived in poverty, as defined by the official poverty measure. 6 million fewer people were living in poverty in 2016 than at the peak of 46.7 million in 2014. The official poverty […]

The Original Underclass

Sometime during the past few years, the country started talking differently about white Americans of modest means. Early in the Obama era, the ennobling language of campaign pundits prevailed. There was much discussion of “white working-class voters,” with whom the Democrats, and especially Barack Obama, were having such trouble connecting. Never mind that this overbroad category […]

Is poverty a mindset?

This week, New York Magazine and ProPublica published a scathing article by Alec MacGillis titled, “Is anyone home at HUD?”. Multiple sources — current and former, career, and political staff — described a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in disarray, with severe lack of direction from a Secretary who has said he believes poverty is a mindset. Here, […]

A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality

The broad facts of income inequality over the past six decades are easily summarized: The years from the end of World War II into the 1970s were ones of substantial economic growth and broadly shared prosperity. Incomes grew rapidly and at roughly the same rate up and down the income ladder, roughly doubling in inflation-adjusted […]