Why poverty remains high: The role of income growth, economic inequality, and changes in family structures, 1949-1999

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

After dramatic declines in poverty from 1950 to the early 1970s in the United States, progress stalled. This article examines the association between trends in poverty and income growth, economic inequality, and changes in family structure using three measures of poverty: an absolute measure, a relative measure, and a quasi-relative one. I found that income growth explains most of the trend in absolute poverty, while inequality generally plays the most significant role in explaining trends in relative poverty. Rising inequality in the 1970s and 1980s was especially important in explaining increases in poverty among Hispanics, whereas changes in family structure played a significant role for children and African Americans through 1990. Notably, changes in family structure no longer had a significant association with trends in poverty for any group in the 1990s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-519
Number of pages21
JournalDemography
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Why poverty remains high: The role of income growth, economic inequality, and changes in family structures, 1949-1999'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this