Evaluating the New Supplemental Poverty Rate Proposal
May 6, 2010Evaluating the New Supplemental Poverty Rate Proposal
9 - 11:30 am
The Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20036
The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced it will develop a new supplemental poverty measure, based in part on a well-known 1995 report from the National Academy of Sciences. The current poverty measure has been strongly criticized by experts from all points on the political spectrum because it ignores billions of dollars in family income, including government benefits that are specifically designed to help low-income families. Critics also point out that the country is using a poverty threshold that does not reflect the increase in basic living standards over time.
The Center on Children and Families at Brookings held an event to discuss the new supplemental measure and its implications for families and policymakers. Rebecca Blank, undersecretary of Commerce for economic affairs, gave the opening remarks and David Johnson of the Census Bureau provided an overview of the Bureau’s evolving work on the new measure. Shawn Fremstad, director of the Inclusive and Sustainable Economy Initiative at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, participated in a panel discussion on the supplemental measure and the approach being taken by the Bureau.
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