Posted 1 year ago on June 19, 2013, 9:26 a.m. EST by BradB
from Washington, DC
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
The Supplemental Poverty Measure data show that 49.7 million people, or 16.1 percent of Americans, lived in poverty in 2011. This is a statistically insignificant change from the rate of 16 percent in 2010. Despite the grim news on poverty, though, some good news can be found in the data. One of the key things the Supplemental Poverty Measure data tell us is that public policy does make a difference in lifting people out of poverty and alleviating economic hardship. Refundable tax credits for working families such as the earned income and child tax credits, for example, lifted 8.7 million people out of poverty in 2011, and the child poverty rate would have been 6.3 percentage points higher without them. Similarly, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program lifted 4.7 million people out of poverty in 2011. Without it, the child poverty rate would have been 2.9 percentage points higher.