How Did Covid Affect The Poverty Rate?


Real-time Estimates of Poverty Show Poverty Rose after Government Benefits Expired


Real Time Estimates of the Poverty Rate

  • Poverty has risen in recent months as some of the benefits that were part of the government relief package have expired. 
  • Poverty rose 1.4 percentage points from 9.4 percent in the period from April to June to 10.8 percent for August and September, erasing the decline in poverty that occurred early on in the pandemic. 
  • The increase in poverty in recent months was more noticeable for blacks, children, and those with a high school education or less. 
  • The estimates also suggest that poverty rose more in states with less effective unemployment insurance systems. 
  • The recent overall rise raises concerns about possible future increases in poverty given that Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, the additional $600 paid weekly to unemployment insurance recipients, was discontinued at the end of July and Congress has not passed another relief package.

The above bullet points condensed from Real Time Estimates of the Poverty Rate.

Here's an Interactive Chart

My Comments

  1. The poverty rate has been falling especially among blacks and those with no college. 
  2. Those looking to give Trump credit for falling poverty rates before Covid hit have evidence in the chart I posted.
  3. Because the Pandemic assistance has now expired, the poverty rate for blacks and those with a high school education or less is now at or above the pre-Covid level.
  4. For most other groups, the poverty rate is now about the same as before Covid hit.

Trends suggest the poverty rate will soon jump above pre-Covid levels due to expiring benefits.

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