Poverty

U.S. income inequality at highest level in 50 years, economic gap growing in heartland

The gap between the haves and have-nots in the United States grew last year to its highest level in more than 50 years of tracking income inequality, according to Census Bureau figures. Income inequality in the United States expanded from 2017 to 2018, with several heartland states among the leaders of the increase, even though […]

Poverty Grew In One-Third Of U.S. Counties Despite Strong National Economy

The poverty rate grew in 30% of counties between 2016 and 2018, according to a Stateline analysis of U.S. Census Bureau county estimates released this month. The poverty rate is the percentage of people in households earning less than the poverty threshold, currently $25,750 for a family of four. While the overall poverty rate dropped […]

Two Recessions, Two Recoveries

The Great Recession of 2007-2009 was one of the deepest downturns of the U.S. economy since World War II. Triggered by crises in the housing and financial markets, the recession evokes memories of homes in foreclosure, the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and bailouts for businesses in the auto, banking and financial sectors. The subsequent expansion […]

LBJ’s Great Society Won the War on Poverty

In 1964, speaking at the University of Michigan, President Lyndon Johnson called for the U.S. to become a “great society.” That term came to be synonymous with the Johnson administration’s raft of antipoverty programs, sometimes known as the War on Poverty. The Great Society initiative led to the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, the modern […]

How Poverty Ends

For all the worries today about the explosion of inequality in rich countries, the last few decades have been remarkably good for the world’s poor. Between 1980 and 2016, the average income of the bottom 50 percent of earners nearly doubled, as this group captured 12 percent of the growth in global GDP. The number […]