Note: With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the Center thought this was a good time to look at the latest figures on various indicators of hardship. This is the first in a series of posts on this subject that CBPP will do this week.
- hunger (what the Agriculture Department now terms "very low food security"),
- overcrowded living conditions (more than one person per room),
- failure to pay rent or mortgage on time, or
- failure to receive needed medical care.
Fortunately, government assistance can make a difference in poverty -- and, it is fair to conclude, hardship.
Earlier this month, Census reported that while poverty rose significantly in 2010 under a new poverty measure (the Supplemental Poverty Measure) that takes both cash income and government assistance into account, government assistance kept poverty from being even higher.
Also, a CBPP analysis found that nearly twice as many people would count as poor in 2010 if one leaves out the income they received from assistance programs. In particular, a handful of government initiatives enacted in 2009 and 2010 kept nearly 7 million people out of poverty in 2010.
This post originally appeared on the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' blog, www.OfftheChartsBlog.org.