Extreme poverty: 2.8 million children in the U.S. live on $2 per day

Feb 27, 2012 By Jared Wadley

(PhysOrg.com) -- One in five households with children in poverty are surviving on the cash equivalent of a half gallon of milk per person per day in a given month.

The National Poverty Center has released a new report that examines poverty trends between 1996 and 2011. The number of with children who are in extreme poverty in a given month—living at $2 or less in income per person per day—in 2011 totaled roughly 1.46 million households, including 2.8 million kids. This number is up from 636,000 households in 1996, nearly a 130 percent increase.

The study finds that in-kind public programs are having an effect, though. The number of children living in extreme poverty is cut in half to 1.4 million in 2011 when the statistics take into account benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program).

"We think it is important to document this significant growth in extreme poverty in the U.S. since the mid-1990s, as well as the buffering effects of our key public in-kind assistance programs," said H. Luke Shaefer, an assistant professor in the U-M School of Social Work and the study's lead author.

In 1996, welfare reform ended the only cash entitlement program in the U.S. for poor families with children. This was replaced with a program that offers time-limited cash assistance and requires able-bodied recipients to participate in work activities.

This reform has been followed by a dramatic decline in cash assistance caseloads, from an average of 12.3 million recipients per month in 1996 to 4.4 million in June 2011; only 1.1 million of these beneficiaries are adults.

As a result of shrinking access to cash assistance and the increasingly poor economic climate, researchers expected the size of the population of households with children living in extreme poverty to increase between 1996 and 2011, both in terms of total households, and as a proportion of all poor households.

In 1996, households in extreme poverty represented about 10 percent of all poor households. Fifteen years later, it's about 19 percent. When SNAP benefits are counted as cash, the rise in extreme poverty is from about 7.6 percent to about 10 percent.

In addition, many of the households in extreme poverty are accessing public health insurance for at least one of their children, and about one in five have a housing subsidy. "These in-kind safety-net programs are playing a vital role, and are probably blunting some of the hardship that American children living in extreme poverty would otherwise face," said Kathryn Edin, professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Still, she said, "it would be wrong to conclude that the U.S. safety net is strong, or even adequate, when one in five poor households with are living without meaningful cash income."

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Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (6) Feb 27, 2012
George Bush Jr. sure did his best to destroy his own country.

How much is his war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan going to cost?

$4 trillion...

And he ended his failed presidency with the nation on the brink of a decade's long depression that the Liberals - with strong opposition from Republicans and Libertarians - have barely managed to convert into a prolonged recession.

America is very lucky it had a Democrat in the White House.

If they had elected a Republican they would probably be eating in soup kitchens at this point rather than their own kitchens.

enigma13x
3 / 5 (6) Feb 27, 2012
as long as the select rich get richer then the poor masses will get poorer. You cant concentrate wealth in one place with out taking it from some one else no amount of economic prosperity will fix this broken cycle, ya better get used to lining up for bread
kaasinees
1.8 / 5 (10) Feb 27, 2012
The whole president debating is pointless and it is exactly what the elite want us to do. After J.F.K it went all down hill and the rest of the world followed.
Ferky
2 / 5 (8) Feb 28, 2012
Where is the report? Why is there no link? Why is no one here questioning the methods and results of this "study"? If you've been to a supermarket sometime in the past twenty years, you know that, with two dollars a day, it's impossible to buy enough food (let alone anything else) to survive for more than a few days. This is clearly a biased "study" with political aims. It doesn't stand the test of basic reason.
Raichu
5 / 5 (2) Feb 28, 2012
Hi Ferky,
Try http www npc umich edu

It's the first entry under the heading "New Publications and Events."

Sorry but physorg.com's "spam filter" wouldn't let me paste the link directly.
Ferky
2.1 / 5 (7) Feb 28, 2012
Thanks, Raichu. I only skimmed that "study" so far, but one problem is apparent already: "Our definition considers households to be in extreme poverty if they report $2 dollars or less per person, per day in total household income in a given month (approximated as $60 per person, per month in 2011 dollars)"

People lie for many reasons, for example in order to arouse sympathy and pity, and to ensure continual provision of alms.
Birger
3 / 5 (4) Feb 28, 2012
Ferky, people supplement their official income through whatever means are available -temporary jobs et cetera- that can make ends meet. But the cash you get through the informal economy is uncertain, and there is no guarantee that you can pay the rent.

Every system has its parasites but come on, do you think every one on welfare is a cheat? Sure, you can close down all social programs on the assumption that the 2-3 percent cheaters must be eradicated at the cost of wholesale misery. That way lies a Dickensian society with slums, prostitution and high crime rates.
Ferky
1.5 / 5 (4) Feb 28, 2012
Ferky, people supplement their official income through whatever means are available -temporary jobs et cetera- that can make ends meet.


OK, so they are in fact NOT living on $2 a day. That's my point.

Every system has its parasites but come on, do you think every one on welfare is a cheat?


The only cheats I was pointing out are the authors of this "study".

That way lies a Dickensian society with slums, prostitution and high crime rates.


You mean, the modern United States?
Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 28, 2012
Ferky apparently has difficulty parsing english.

The key phrase in the article is "within a given month".

"If you've been to a supermarket sometime in the past twenty years, you know that, with two dollars a day, it's impossible to buy enough food (let alone anything else) to survive for more than a few days." - Ferky

"The number of households with children who are in extreme poverty in a given monthliving at $2 or less in income per person per dayin 2011 totaled roughly 1.46 million households, including 2.8 million kids." - Article
Ferky
2.3 / 5 (6) Feb 28, 2012
Since you criticize my English-parsing abilities, Decarian, perhaps you could point out the contradiction between the two paragraphs you quoted - mine and the article's. Last time I checked, "a few days" count as less than a month. So, what exactly is your point?

Now, you may disagree a to whether or not it is possible to survive for more than a few days on two dollars a day, however your attempt to appear smart by pointing to some contradiction failed miserably.
Do try again.
enigma13x
3 / 5 (2) Feb 28, 2012
@ ferky

i have had the pleasure of living on the streets for 3 months with out any money at all so it is possible and dose happen i suggest that if you dont believe me then go down to your local soup kitchen and try talking to a few people you might just be able to get your own head unstuck from your ass not everyone is as well off
Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 28, 2012
Now Ferky pretends that the word "within" does not exist in the phrase "within a given month."

Pathetic.

"Last time I checked, "a few days" count as less than a month. So, what exactly is your point? " - Ferky
Ferky
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 28, 2012
Decarian,

The phrase "within a given month" does not appear anywhere in the study, or on this page. You made it up. The only reason I didn't point it out before was because I assumed it was an honest mistake. Now I realize you're lying.

From the study:

"Our definition considers households to be in extreme poverty if they report $2 dollars or less per person, per day in total household income in a given month (approximated as $60 per person, per month in 2011 dollars)."

So, they must be living on $2 a day for a WHOLE MONTH to qualify.
You misunderstood the study, lied about its content, and made up a phrase to point to a non-existing contradiction. You got caught.
Now wipe that egg off your face and move on.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Feb 29, 2012
Ferky has now produced a reference (paragraph 1 below), that contradicts his own interpretation (paragraph 2 below).

"Our definition considers households to be in extreme poverty if they report $2 dollars or less per person, per day in total household income in a given month (approximated as $60 per person, per month in 2011 dollars)." - Article

" If you've been to a supermarket sometime in the past twenty years, you know that, with two dollars a day, it's impossible to buy enough food (let alone anything else) to survive for more than a few days." - Ferky
Ferky
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 29, 2012
Scott Nudds a.k.a. Vendicar Decarian,

I apologize; I should have goggled your name earlier. I didn't realize you were "special", and it was wrong of me to engage you. I hope the Secret Service wasn't too rough on you.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Feb 29, 2012
Ferky can't admit to his failure.

Kinedryl
1.6 / 5 (7) Feb 29, 2012
The cold fusion is the only key available for solution of economical crisis. I'm not Keynesian in this extent: the money cannot generate money from nothing whenever natural resources gets depleted. The frenetic working activity will not help us anymore: the more you will work under such a situation, the more natural resources you'll consume, the faster the natural resources will get depleted. The main problem here is, just the people, who have money and power to change it aren't motivated in change of existing status quo, just because it gives them their money and power. It's vicious circle of economy, which is usually broken just with social revolution.
CardacianNeverid
3.5 / 5 (8) Feb 29, 2012
The cold fusion is the only key available for solution of economical crisis -ZephyrSockpuppet

Shut the fuck up about cold fusion and AWT and the frigging water surface already, you retard!

Kinedryl
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 29, 2012
But it's actually the whole essence of problem. You can't solve it by sweeping it under the carpet. We lost twenty years already and we are losing another ones.
Physicists Meet at CERN to Discuss Progress Made on Cold Fusion, NASA Calls Cold Fusion a Game Changer, Cold Fusion with over ten times energy gain was demonstrated at MIT, Cold fusion lectures at MIT
If the cold fusion is real, as main research centers admit, why its research isn't the main research program of NSF already? Why we have billions dedicated for useless research of Mars, but not for research cold fusion?
infinite_energy
1 / 5 (2) Mar 04, 2012
Why aren't the kids dead already? Will they die next months? Who will benefit from their deaths (probably their parents). Who can/should save them?
infinite_energy
1 / 5 (2) Mar 04, 2012
This is disgusting. Money SHOULD solve this problem.
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (1) Mar 04, 2012
Probably because you didn't read what they mean by $2.00 a day.

You have only yourself to blame.

"Why aren't the kids dead already?" - Infinite whatever

Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (1) Mar 04, 2012
Physicists Meet at CERN to Discuss Progress Made on Cold Fusion,

Yup, they are making use of a CERN lecture hall. The scientists at CERN is bunk.

"NASA Calls Cold Fusion a Game Changer"

Sorry NASA has said no such thing. A scientist who has worked for NASA has said that if VF is real it is a game changer.

"Cold Fusion with over ten times energy gain was demonstrated at MIT, Cold fusion lectures at MIT."

Other than providing a room. MIT was not involved.

Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (1) Mar 04, 2012
What a shame that Martini and Rossi's CF demonstration showed them to be frauds.

"The cold fusion is the only key available for solution of economical crisis." - Kined