Poverty Dropped 2.6% In 2020 Due To Government Aid During Pandemic: Census Bureau

  • The poverty rate in the US fell last year due to government aid, including stimulus payments and unemployment insurance during the pandemic.
  • Stimulus payments brought 11.7 million people out of poverty, and the pandemic unemployment insurance benefits kept 5.5 million people from falling into poverty.
  • “I think this really shows the importance of the social safety net,” said Liana Fox, chief of the Poverty Statistics Branch at the Census Bureau.

Laurel Wamsley from NPR writes:

“The poverty rate in the United States fell last year, even amid impact of the global pandemic, due to government aid, including stimulus payments and unemployment insurance. That’s according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, released today.

The Supplemental Poverty Measure rate in 2020 was 9.1%, 2.6 percentage points lower than the SPM rate in 2019.

Stimulus payments moved 11.7 million people from poverty, according to the Census data, and unemployment insurance benefits kept 5.5 million people from falling into poverty.

The official poverty rate was 11.4%, up 1.0 percentage point from 2019. But that official rate does not include many types of government aid, including stimulus checks, though it does include unemployment insurance.

The Supplemental Poverty Measure, or SPM, also incorporates regional differences in housing, food, and utility costs. It reflects post-tax income and serves as an alternative measure of poverty and economic well-being…”

See full story here.



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