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National Poverty Center study cited in USA Today article about extreme poverty in the U.S.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A new study by researchers from the National Poverty Center was cited in a USA Today article about the number of Americans living in extreme poverty.

The University of Michigan's H. Luke Shaefer and co-author Kathryn Edin, from Harvard University, found that 1.46 million people in the U.S. are living on less than $2 per person per day, which is one of the World Bank's measures of global poverty.

This number has more than doubled since 1996 when, as described in Shaefer and Edin's report, "welfare reform ended the only cash entitlement program in the U.S. for poor families with children, replacing it with a program that offers time-limited cash assistance and requires able-bodied recipients to participate in work activities."

Shaefer and Edin found that in-kind benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, have a buffering effect, reducing the number of children living in extreme poverty by half.

Read the full policy brief, "Extreme Poverty in the United States, 1996 to 2011" here.