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Posts tagged poverty

Number of Poor Iowans Remains High, Income Growth Not Widely Shared

IOWA CITY, Iowa (September 18, 2014) — More Iowans remained in poverty four years after the recession than before, new data from the Census Bureau showed Thursday. 

The American Community Survey (ACS) indicated that 12.7 percent of Iowans — about 379,127 people — were in poverty in 2013, up from 11 percent in 2007, the year the last recession started.

“Nearly 1 in 8 Iowans were living in poverty in 2013, that’s less than $24,000 a year for a family of four and $12,000 a year for an individual. These new Census numbers highlight the fact that many people have not yet recovered from the recession and shows the need to do more to help struggling Iowans afford basics like decent housing, nutritious food, transportation and reliable child care,” said David Osterberg, founding director of the Iowa Policy Project, part of the Iowa Fiscal Partnership. 

In the region, Minnesota had the lowest poverty rate of 11.2 percent, while Illinois had the highest at 14.7 percent. Wisconsin was at 13.5 percent and Nebraska at 13.2 percent. But Iowa is still below the national rate of 15.8 percent. 

Other Key points for Iowa from the release of the 2013 ACS data:

  • Iowa’s poverty rate of 12.7 percent compared with 11 percent in 2007 and 9.7 percent in 2001. There was no change from the 2012 poverty rate of 12.7 percent
  • Child poverty was 15.7 percent in 2013 (about 111,119 children), up from 13.1 percent in 2007 and 12 percent in 2001.
  • Median income was $52,229 in 2013, changing little from the 2001 inflation-adjusted dollars, but dropping from $53,132 in 2007.

The median annual income in Iowa adjusted for inflation increased slightly between 2012 and 2013 but is down about $900 in real dollars since the start of the recession. Yet, other sources show that incomes at the top have grown and the gap between the top and bottom and top and middle have widened. 

“In addition to successful public policies like SNAP (food aid) and the Earned Income Tax Credit, increasing the federal minimum wage would be a step in the right direction to bring more Iowans out of poverty, ” said Heather Gibney, research associate at the Iowa Policy Project. “Making it a little easier for people to move up the economic ladder not only helps struggling families but also makes our economy stronger for all of us.”

 

IFP News: Income Down, Poverty Up Since ’07

Iowans in slow recovery from Great Recession

PDF of this release

IOWA CITY, Iowa — More Iowans remained in poverty three years after the recession, new data from the Census Bureau showed Thursday.

The American Community Survey (ACS) indicated 12.7 percent of Iowans — about 377,500 people — were in poverty in 2012, up from 11 percent in 2007, the year the last recession started.

“These are the signs we have been seeing across the board in our research,” said David Osterberg, founding director of the Iowa Policy Project, part of the Iowa Fiscal Partnership. “Whether you’re looking at jobs, or income, or poverty, or food insecurity, we simply have not caught up with where we were before the Great Recession.”

Other key points for Iowa from the release of 2012 ACS data:

•       Iowa’s poverty rate of 12.7 percent compared with 11 percent in 2007 and 9.7 percent in 2001. The change from 2011 — a drop of 0.1 of a percentage point — was not statistically significant.

•       Child poverty was 15.6 percent in 2012 (about 110,200 children), up from 13.1 percent in 2007 and 12 percent in 2001.

•       Median income was $50,957 in 2012, changing little from 2001 in inflation-adjusted dollars, but it dropped from $52,371 in 2007.

“Public policy needs to give people the tools to lift themselves out of poverty, and at the same time boost the economy,” said Charles Bruner, executive director of the Child & Family Policy Center, also part of the Iowa Fiscal Partnership. “We have those kinds of tools in place — such as SNAP, or Food Stamps — but many of those same tools are under assault in Congress.”

In the U.S. House, lawmakers Thursday debated legislation that would cut SNAP benefits to an estimated 3.8 million beneficiaries.

“Look at these numbers today,” Osterberg said. “How can we see over 100,000 kids in Iowa in poverty and not realize this is a problem that needs to be addressed?”

Reports from the Iowa Fiscal Partnership are at www.iowafiscal.org.

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Note: A simple comparison of the Current Population Survey and the American Community Survey is available at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/datasources/factsheet.html.