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Poverty Studies

Low-income Americans are struggling. Poverty has risen, the work participation rate is at its lowest point since the 1970s, and median incomes have stagnated. AEI’s work on poverty seeks to reverse that trend by enhancing opportunity for low-income Americans. From safety net policy to education and family policy, AEI aims to provide pathbreaking work on the root causes of poverty, and the policy changes that most effectively address them. This page contains an up-to-date selection of content from AEI’s scholarly community.

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If political, business, and thought leaders, economists, religious leaders, and educators are serious about confronting economic inequality, social immobility, and stagnating wages, they also need to focus on how to reverse the retreat from marriage in America.

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Six charts that show one issue largely missing from the public conversation about economics in America: an honest discussion of the family factor.

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The evidence is widespread and consistent enough to suggest strong, causal positive roles for being raised in an intact family and for current marriage on a range of important economic outcomes for the average American.

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Protesters hold replicas of food stamps during a rally in support of higher pay for low-wage earners. | Reuters

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Something peculiar is happening to our nation’s food assistance program.

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Half a decade after the Great Recession, too many Americans are not earning their way out of poverty.

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The EITC is an effective weapon in America’s anti-poverty arsenal, but it is crucual to understand what it does and does not achieve.

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The poverty statistics that the Census Bureau released earlier this week exclude the homeless. How can we ever really win the war on poverty if we don’t even count some of the worst off among us? It’s time to add the homeless to the national conversation

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The Wealth Building Home Loan (WBHL), a new approach to home finance, was unveiled at the American Mortgage Conference on September 8. 

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US official poverty rate, 1990-2013

7-second takeaway

Over five years since the end of the recession, it would seem reasonable to expect that poverty would have dropped further from the peak hit in 2010. At 14.5% in 2013, the poverty rate has dropped from the peak of 15.1% hit in 2010. That’s progress. But it is still very far from a low of 11.3% in 2000.

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Today’s Census Bureau Report shows a decline in family poverty from 2012 to 2013. If the United States can sustain or even reduce the share of children being born outside of marriage, we may see even better news emerging on the family-poverty front.

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