Resources from around the Coalition: 2017 Census poverty data


September 20, 2018

Editor’s note: The following blog post was written by Makenna Whitworth, CHN’s Fall 2018 intern.

On Wednesday, September 12 and Thursday, September 13, the U.S. Census Bureau released the latest national, state, and local data about income, poverty, and health insurance. Since then, CHN and its members have been busy assessing this latest information concerning low-income people and other vulnerable populations affected by poverty. CHN is currently working with state partners on creating helpful infographics that highlight the primary findings from this data. We invite you to check back soon or to follow CHN on Twitter at @CoaltionHN to access those infographics once they are available. However, we are not the only ones hard at work making use of this data, and we want to highlight some of the important resources CHN’s members are putting out:

    • Advocates know that economic insecurity and poverty are too high across the entire country, but how do some parts of the nation fare when compared to others? Talk Poverty, a project of the Center for American Progress, has put together this fantastic interactive map that allows you to easily compare and contrast poverty data by state or congressional district for various economic indicators and demographic breakdown over the past several years.
    • Using the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which is a more accurate measure of poverty and its changes over time than the official poverty measure, analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities highlights the effectiveness of economic security programs in reducing poverty, particularly amongst children. These programs lifted 36 million people out of poverty in 2017, 7 million of who are children. As CBPP states in their report, “We calculate that the poverty rate has fallen by nearly half since 1967, largely due to the growing effectiveness of economic security programs.”
    • While such economic security programs do much to alleviate poverty, we know that certain populations, such as women and people of color, are particularly vulnerable. National Women’s Law Center conducted a detailed analysis of this new Census data and found that, yet again, women’s poverty rates were higher than those of men. Their analysis also showed that women working full time, year round continue to be paid just 80 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, and that this gender wage gap is even worse for women of color. In fact, the gap between women of color and white, non-Hispanic men increased this past year.
    • We also know that children remain more likely to be poor than any other age group. Analysis by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and its KIDS COUNT Data Center focuses on child poverty data from the Census Bureau to show that while 21 states matched or lowered their child poverty rates compared to just before the Great Recession, five states saw their child poverty rates increase by 20 percent or more from 2007 to 2017. Click here to see the states that saw the largest improvements and the largest increases in their child poverty rates, as well as breakdowns of children in poverty by age group and race and ethnicity.

Check out CHN’s 2017 Census and Poverty Data resources page for the full list of these reports and resources. Pieces are added to this page as they become available, so be sure to check back frequently as our members conduct further analysis of this data.

Census Bureau