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Poverty in the United States in 2020

CRS Report – Poverty in the United States in 2020, February 10, 2022: “Calendar year 2020 saw the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and an accompanying risein the poverty rate—the percentage of the population living in poverty (economic hardship characterized by low income). Under the Census Bureau’s official poverty measure, the nation as a whole was estimated to have 37.2 million people (11.4% of the population) living in poverty in 2020, compared with 34.0 million (10.5%) in 2019. Comparing recent poverty rates with those from before 2019 is somewhat complicated because of changes in the way household income data were collected during the pandemic (in-person interviewing was stopped in favor of telephone-only interviewing in both 2020, which measured 2019 poverty, and 2021, which measured 2020 poverty). This change in survey procedures is largely believed to have biased the overall poverty rate in 2019 downward by a little over half a percentage point. That said, the recent poverty rates in 2019 (10.5%) and 2020 (11.4%) are closer to the previous historical low of 11.1% in 1973 than to the most recent peak of 15.1% in 2010, after the Great Recession…”

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