Poverty round-up

Yesterday, the Census released its annual report on “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage” (pdf) in the United States. The new data cover 2009 and paint a pretty bleak picture of the social impact of the Great Recession. Poverty was up, median family income was down, health-insurance coverage declined (especially coverage through employers).

Several quick takes on the report are worth a look. At the Economic Policy Institute, economists Elise Gould and Heidi Shierholz wrote up the findings as a “lost decade.” The Center for Law and Social Policy and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities also released statements with their initial reactions.

At CEPR, my colleague, Shawn Fremstad, did his own review of the key findings, emphasizing the implications for the broad middle of the income distribution: “The Census figures show that in 2009 one out of every three Americans had incomes that fell below the amount (roughly $45,000 for a family of four) that most Americans and various budget estimates show is needed to ‘make ends meet’ at a basic level.”

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