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What the Census Numbers Won't Tell Us About Poverty in America

Recorded on August 27, 2007

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

On August 28, the Census Bureau will release its annual report on income and poverty in the United States.  Despite widespread recognition that its method for calculating poverty is overly simplistic and limited, politicians and pundits seize upon its findings each year to make bold claims about what's right or wrong with poverty policy in America.

What is often missing from the annual August attention is what the Census numbers don't tell us about the actual living conditions of the individuals the government deems to be poor - or how many Americans are truly poor from one year to the next and why.  Heritage Senior Research Fellow Robert Rector has uncovered startling findings about the realities beyond the Census figures, and why so much political rhetoric about poverty in America is misguided.  Joined by Brookings scholar Ron Haskins and Dr. Wade Horn, former HHS Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, Rector will discuss the true nature of poverty in America and how it can be reduced, particularly among children.