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Newsletter   |   Oct 13, 2021

Hal Goode Executive Director
CENSUS RELEASES POVERTY DATA FOR 2020 thanks to Denise Harlow, Executive Director for Community Action Partnership who recently emailed me the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest data on poverty, income inequality, and health coverage. The data covers 2020 and demonstrates how relief provisions in the first two major pieces of federal COVID-19 legislation mitigated the negative economic effects of the pandemic. The official poverty rate increased slightly, but estimated rates decreased significantly when post-tax income, relief programs, and stimulus payments were included. The Census Bureau’s 3 reports below are resources for Community Needs Assessments, Planning, and Advocacy efforts:1. Income and Official Poverty Rate (OPR): Median household income, controlling for inflation, dropped by 2.9 percent in 2020 across all selected characteristics, the first decrease since 2011. Median incomes for Black and Hispanic households ($45,870 and $55,321, respectively) remained far below those of their white counterparts ($74,912). The overall official poverty rate increased 1 percentage point, from 10.5 to 11.4 percent. Poverty rates for Black and Hispanic individuals (19.5% and 17%, respectively) were more than double that of white non-Hispanics (8.2%).2. Health Care Coverage: In 2020, 8.6 percent of people interviewed were not covered by health insurance (28 million), down from 9.2 percent (29.6 million) in 2019, with fewer people on private plans due to a slight decline in employer-based coverage. Data on uninsured is broken down by age, race, income-to-poverty ratio, work experience, and marital status. In states that have expanded Medicaid, adults aged 19-64 had lower uninsured rates (8.9%) when compared to non expansion states (17.6%).3. Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM): The SPM — which factors in tax credits, government programs, and expenses — decreased 2.6 percentage points, from 11.8 to 9.1 percent, the lowest rate on record. During a pandemic and economic downturn, SPM elements prevented millions of people from entering poverty. These elements include stimulus payments (11.7 million people), unemployment insurance (5.5 million), tax credits like the CTC/EITC (5.3 million), food assistance (6.1 million), and housing assistance (2.4 million).The Coalition on Human Needs has released a helpful factsheet with topline numbers. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has calculated that 2020 policies kept 53 million people out of poverty and has released a short list of things to look for in the new numbers. This information was provided by Ryan Gelman, Project Director for Public Policy and Advocacy with Community Action Partnership. 

I have his contact below:

Ryan P. Gelman, Esq. Project Director, Public Policy & Advocacy National Community Action Partnership1020 19th Street, NW, Suite 700