The New York Times Magazine: Why Poverty Persists In America

The New York Times Magazine, March 9, 2023, Why Poverty Persists In America

On the problem of poverty, though, there has been no real improvement — just a long stasis. As estimated by the federal government’s poverty line, 12.6% of the US population was poor in 1970; two decades later, it was 13.5%; in 2010, it was 15.1%; and in 2019, it was 10.5%. To graph, the share of Americans living in poverty over the past half-century amounts to drawing a line that resembles gently rolling hills. The line curves slightly up, then slightly down, then back up again over the years, staying steady through Democratic and Republican administrations, rising in recessions and falling in boom years.

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