Time for a Shared Recovery

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1 Time for a Shared Recovery Using the Census Data to Show the Harmful and Needless Needless Persistence of Poverty August 19,

2 PART III 21

3 Deborah Weinstein Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs Getting and Using the Data: Nuts, Bolts, and Helpful Tips 3

4 What will the data show this year? We won t know till August 26. Best guesses: Poverty in 2007 likely to be static/decline a bit since But since , poverty up nationally and in most states. The number and rate of uninsured may continue to grow (or be static), including children and adults. 4

5 How do the 2007 data connect to the problems of 2008? Even in a recovery period, poverty has been rising since 2001 nationwide and in most states. That means we need thoughtful strategies by government to reduce poverty the rising tide of this decade has not lifted all boats. Now that times are worse, help for those left out is urgently needed. 5

6 Things are worse in 2008 because Unemployment is up: 1.6 million more unemployed in 7/08 than in 7/07, rising from 4.7 percent to 5.7 percent. Real incomes are down: Wages plus benefits down 1.8% from 6/07 to 6/08, counting inflation; largest real decline since this data collected (1980s). People needing Food Stamps are up: 1.8 million more in 4/08 than in 4/07. Cost of necessities is up (7/08 7/07): Food: Dairy products up 12.1%; Cereals/bakery up 12.1%; Fruits/vegetables up 10.1% Gas: up 37.9% Home energy: Heating oil up 61%; Gas and electric up 14.8% 6

7 Why it s a good bet that poverty is up in 2008: For the past 35 years, rising unemployment has been accompanied by rising poverty. For the past half century (since 1959), poverty has risen in every year when unemployment is up and average wages have lost ground to inflation. 7

8 What s in the new Census report? 2007 national, state, and local data about Poverty Income Health insurance Data from 2 surveys: Current Population Survey (CPS) and American Community Survey (ACS) 8

9 Why 2 Surveys? The Current Population Survey (CPS) includes an Annual Social and Economic Supplement, with questions about income, work, poverty, education, family structure, and health insurance. In March 2008, about 100,000 households answered questions about calendar CPS data has been collected for about 50 years. So it is very useful for long-term national trend analysis. But it s not big enough to provide reliable state sampling, especially in smaller states, and for subgroups (children, racial/ethnic groups, for example). To increase reliability, CPS state data is averaged over 2-3 years. Even then, you can t get state child poverty by race, for example. 9

10 American Community Survey: A wealth of data Full implementation began with 2005 data: Sample size of 3 million a year (in , sample ranged from 740, ,000). Has data about communities as small as 65,000 (20,000 in Dec.); data also by cities, counties, congressional districts; provides racial and ethnic data. Will replace decennial census long form in 2010: answers questions about income, poverty, family structure, employment, housing, immigrant status, education, transportation, veterans status. Census Bureau now recommends use of ACS for state comparisons over time, state to nation comparisons, state to state comparisons. 10

11 Timetable for release of 2007 data: August 26: ACS and CPS economic data: income, poverty. CPS: health insurance data. September 23: ACS social, demographic and housing data (including education, marital status, ancestry, place of birth, transportation, vets status) 1 year comparisons. December: New: data for all areas of 20,000 population or more. 11

12 Questions ACS can answer on August 26: How does your state s, city s, county s, congressional district s poverty rate compare with other states, cities, counties, etc.? How many children in your state are in families where all parents work? What s the median income for households or families? How many households have income of less than $35,000? $10,000? 12

13 A Few Questions ACS can answer on Sept. 23: What s the proportion of school-age children with disabilities in your county? state? How does that compare to other places? How many adults have not finished high school in your state? Congressional district? city? What s the percentage of income paid by renters or homeowners? How many don t have a vehicle? How many African Americans, Hispanics or other racial/ethnic groups are poor? 13

14 Comparisons over Time For national data, CPS sample is big enough For state data, we ll use ACS data to compare back to 2001 (maybe 2000, too) for Poverty people, families Median income Related children poverty For health insurance, our only choice is CPS 14

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