Sunday, July 28, 2013

The AP's Hope Yen: 80% of U.S. Adults Face Economic Distress at Various Points in Life

Hope Yen of The Associate Press provides a fascinating summary of a new study about the pervasiveness of poverty and/or economic insecurity in the United States.  Yen's article is based, in part, on exclusive access to data being studied by Mark Rank, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Rank's study will be published at a later date by the Oxford University Press.

Rank has developed an Economic Insecurity Gauge, a measurement considering episodic unemployment for 1 year or more, usage of government aid like food stamps, and an income of less than 150% of the federal poverty line. For the record, the recent federal poverty line is set at $23,021 annual income for a family of four.

Yen's article is a quite detailed piece.  Here are some highlighted points:

  • 46 million of the U.S. public in poverty, about 15% of the total population
  • 19 million whites are below the federal poverty line, constituting about 41% of the American poor
  • Working class whites (those without college degrees) make up the biggest demographic bloc of the U.S. working age population
  • American marriage rates are on the decline
  • Among whites, rising pessimism about the future
  • Among minorities, a 90% risk of economic deprivation at some point in life

Yen's article is linked below.

The AP's Hope Yen: 80% of American adults face economic distress at Various Points in Life

"Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream."
---Hope Yen, The Associated Press

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