The number of Americans living in poverty declined overall during the Covid pandemic due to the massive stimulus relief measures Congress enacted at the beginning of the crisis, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported poverty fell to 9.1 percent in 2020 after accounting for all the government aid, the lowest rate on record and a significant decline from 11.8 percent in 2019. Nearly 8.5 million people were lifted out of poverty last year, an unprecedented change in a single year that was largely attributed to the stimulus payments. Poverty in the United States is defined as a family of four living on less than about $26,250 a year.
“This is a really phenomenal result‚” said Elaine Waxman, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. “But a lot of the aid that made a difference, including for families with children, won’t be extended.”
According to the census another 5.5 million people were prevented from falling into poverty by the enhanced unemployment insurance aid. The poverty threshold is defined as income of less than $26,200 a year for a family of four.
As the economy recovers from the depths of the coronavirus pandemic, White House officials are hoping that more Americans will be able to find good-paying jobs that keep them out of poverty.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS
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