New Article: A Third of U.S. Families Face a Different Kind of Poverty
Posted by Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity on January 12, 2021
Before the pandemic, one-third of U.S. households with children were already “net worth poor,” lacking enough financial resources to sustain their families for three months at a poverty level, finds new research from Duke University. In 2019, 57 percent of Black families and 50 percent of Latino families with children were poor in terms of net worth. By comparison, the rate for white families was 24 percent. “These ‘net worth poor’ households have no assets to withstand a sudden economic loss, like we have seen with COVID-19,” said Christina Gibson-Davis, co-author of the study and professor of public policy and sociology at Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Policy. “Their savings are virtually nil, and they have no financial cushion to provide the basics for their children.” The study is among the first to consider family poverty in terms of assets, not income. Using 1989-2019 data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, researchers analyzed net worth and income data from more than 19,000 U.S. households with children under age 18.
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