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Measuring Poverty in the United States: History and Current Issues

  • Daniel Weinberg

Formal measurement of poverty in the United States is now about 40 years old. This paper first briefly describes the origins and basis of the official poverty thresholds adopted by the federal government in the late 1960s. Then, it discusses in some detail some of the more current issues that observers suggest must be addressed if changes are to be made. The final sections discuss recent efforts to propose alternates to the current official approach.

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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 06-11.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:06-11
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  1. Daniel Weinberg, 2005. "Alternative Measures of Income Poverty and the Anti-Poverty Effects of Taxes and Transfers," Working Papers 05-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. David M. Cutler & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "Macroeconomic Performance and the Disadvantaged," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 1-74.
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