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September 13, 2016

September 13, 2016 | News Releases on

Heritage Expert on New Census Bureau Poverty Numbers

The Census Bureau is out with new numbers today that show the nation’s poverty rate affects 43.1 million Americans. Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Robert Rector says there are several facts about America’s poor that the Census data leaves out of its official release.

“Poor households routinely spend $2.40 for every $1.00 in income that the Census says they have,” Rector says, noting the average poor American typically lives in a house or apartment that is in good repair and has more living space than the average non-poor citizen in France, Germany or England.

While those in academia claim that 1 in 25 families live in “extreme poverty” (or less than $2 per person per day), government surveys of self-reported spending by families show the actual number is 1 in 4,469.

“The Census identifies so many Americans as ‘poor’ who do not appear poor in the misleading way the bureau measures poverty,” Rector adds. The agency fails to account for nearly all of the $221 billion in cash, food, and housing benefits that are given to low-income families with children.

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