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            A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby Payne

Create a minimum of ONE comment, question, and/or concern for each
Chapter in the text, including the Introduction (Introduction, Chapters 1-9).

After each comment, question, and/or concern, indicate the page(s) to
which you are referring.

Summarizing the New US Census Bureau Report
on Income and Poverty: The Rich Continue to Get
Richer
Posted August 30th, 2006 by MJLYNCH


The US Census Bureau released new figures on the economic health and well being of
Americans on August 29th in its annual report. Below I summarize some of the important
aspects of this report. To view this report: www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p60-231.pdf

1. Real median household income rose 1.1% in 2005 to $46,326. Real median income is an
inflation adjusted measure which indicates the income amount that divides US families at their
midpoint, with one half of families earning less than $46,326, and one half of families earning
greater than that amount.

2. Although real median household income rose last year, the rise was not sufficient to
overcome the impact of the recession that ushered in the 21st century in the US. Real median
family incomes in the US in 2005 remained 0.5% lower than real median family incomes in
2001.

3. Real median income values, however, provide a misleading indicator of how widely US
citizens share in recent economic gains. For example, while real median family income
increased, so too did economic inequality. Economic inequality is evident in several additional
indicators.

4. Median family incomes vary significantly by race. The 3 year moving average for families of
different racial and ethnic backgrounds were reported as follows: Whites, Non-Hispanic
($50,784); African Americans ($30,858); Hispanics ($35,967); Asians ($61,094).

5. In 2005, the poorest 20% of families earned only 3.4 % of all household income. The top
20% of families earned 50.4% of all household incomes. Clearly, this indicates a wide disparity
in the distribution of income.

6. For the top 20% of households, average incomes rose by 2 percent, and the mean annual
income for this group of families is now $ 159, 583.

7. Mean income for the bottom 20% rose at a lower rate of 0.6%. The mean family income for
those in the lowest 20% of household incomes rose by only $68 to $10,587.
8. The report indicated that the GINI coefficient of income inequality rose to 0.469 in 2005.
The higher the GINI coefficient, the more unequal the distribution of income. The 2005 GINI is
the largest inequality figure recorded by the US Census Bureau in the 40 years it has issued
annual reports.

9. The small rise in income for the lowest 20% of income earning families helped reduce the
proportion of the population that lives in poverty by 0.1% (to 12.6%). The 2005 poverty rate,
however, was 1.3 points higher than the 2001 poverty rate (11.3%), which indicated that the
poorest Americans have had much more difficulty recovering from the early 21st century
recession. Today, 36.85 million Americans still live in poverty.

10. Despite the rise in median family income, the median income for both men and women
declined. Men’s median income fell by 1.8% to $ 41,386, while women’s median incomes fell
1.3% to $ 31,858. On average, women still earn significantly less than men (77 cents for
every dollar earned by men). It should be noted that the rise in the male/female wage level
that has occurred since the mid-1980s is largely the result of men’s wages falling relative to
women’s wages, and not the result of a real gain in women’s wages relative to men’s wages.
Also, the discrepancy between the decline in individual wages (women/men) versus the rise in
family income is the result of income generated from investments for families.

11. According to US Census Bureau documents
(http://www.census.gov/hhes/poverty/threshld/thresh04.html), poverty thresholds are as
follows: for persons under age 65 ($9,827/yr); for persons over age 65 ($ 9,060/yr); for a
family of 4 ($19,484) (for other family sizes, use link). It should be noted that the poverty
level value set by the US Census Bureau for individuals under age 65 is slightly less ($885)
than a person who earns minimum wage ($ 5.15/hour) would make working 40 hours a week
for 52 weeks.

12. There are important racial differences in poverty that need to be considered. During 2005,
the poverty rate for Whites declined slightly (0.1%), to 10.5%. The African American poverty
rate remained constant, though they continue to be adversely affected, and the proportion of
African Americans who live in poverty was 24.7%. Like the White poverty rates, the Hispanic
poverty rate fell by 0.1%. However, like the African American poverty rate, the Hispanics
poverty rate remains significantly higher than the White poverty rate at 21.8%.

13. Poverty rates for other groups also rose. For female headed households, the poverty rate
rose by 0.6 points to 31.1%. Likewise, the poverty rate for those over 65 rose by 0.3 points to
10.1%. Poverty rates for children, however, fell by 0.2 points to 17.6%.

14. The number of Americans without health insurance increased to 46.6 million, or by 1.3
million people during 2005.

15. Important regional variations exist in reported family income patterns. The rise in incomes
was above the national average in Northeastern States (2.9%) and in Westerns States
(1.5%), and below the national average in Midwestern (-0.4%) and Southern (0.1%) states.
                      Table 2
               State Poverty Rates:
            Selected 3-Year Averages,
           1994-1996 through 2004-2006
                 (in percentages)
                1994- 1996- 1998- 2001- 2002- 2003- 2004-
State
                 1996 1998 2000 2003 2004 2005 2006
Alabama          16.8   14.7   14.6   15.1   15.5   16.2   16.0
Alaska            8.5    8.8    8.3    9.0    9.2    9.6    9.3
Arizona          17.5   18.1   13.6   13.9   13.8   14.4   14.7
Arkansas         15.8   17.2   15.8   18.5   17.6   15.6   15.6
California       17.2   16.3   14.0   12.9   13.2   13.2   12.9
Colorado          9.5    9.3    8.5    9.4    9.8   10.4   10.4
Connecticut      10.7    9.9    7.6    7.9    8.8    9.2    9.1
Delaware          9.1    9.5    9.8    7.7    8.5    8.5    9.2
Dist. of
                 22.5   22.7   17.3   17.3   16.8   18.3   18.8
Columbia
Florida          15.1   13.9   12.1   12.7   12.3   11.8   11.4
Georgia          13.6   14.3   12.6   12.0   12.0   13.1   13.3
Hawaii           10.4   12.3   10.5   10.7    9.7    8.8    8.8
Idaho            12.8   13.2   13.3   11.0   10.5   10.0    9.8
Illinois         12.3   11.1   10.5   11.8   12.5   12.1   11.5
Indiana          10.3    8.6    8.2    9.2   10.2   11.4   11.6
Iowa             10.8    9.4    7.9    8.5    9.7   10.4   10.8
Kansas           12.3   10.1   10.4   10.3   10.7   11.6   12.2
Kentucky         16.7   15.5   12.5   13.7   15.4   15.6   16.5
Louisiana        22.0   18.6   18.6   16.9   17.0   17.4   17.4
Maine            10.6   10.6    9.8   11.8   12.2   11.9   11.5
Maryland         10.4    8.6    7.3    7.7    8.6    9.4    9.3
Massachusetts    10.3   10.3   10.2    9.7    9.8    9.9   10.5
Michigan         12.5   10.8   10.2   10.8   12.1   12.2   12.9
Minnesota        10.2    9.9    7.8    7.1    7.0    7.5    7.7
Mississippi      21.3   18.3   15.5   17.9   17.7   18.3   19.8
Missouri         11.5   10.4    9.7   10.1   10.9   11.5   11.7
Montana          14.6   16.4   16.0   14.0   14.3   14.4   13.8
        Nebraska           9.5    10.8   10.6     9.9     9.9     9.6    9.7
        Nevada            10.1     9.9   10.9     9.0    10.2   10.8    10.4
        New
                           6.5     8.4     7.4    6.0     5.7     5.6    5.5
        Hampshire
        New Jersey         8.7     9.0     8.1    8.2     8.2     7.8    7.9
        New Mexico        24.0    22.4   19.3    18.0    17.5   17.5    17.1
        New York          16.7    16.6   14.7    14.2    14.4   14.6    14.5
        North Carolina    13.0    12.5   13.2    14.2    14.8   14.4    13.8
        North Dakota      11.1    13.2   12.7    11.7    10.3   10.2    10.8
        Ohio              12.8    11.6   11.1    10.4    10.8   11.6    12.0
        Oklahoma          16.8    14.8   14.1    14.0    12.6   13.1    13.9
        Oregon            11.6    12.8   12.8    11.7    11.7   12.1    11.9
        Pennsylvania      12.1    11.3     9.9    9.9    10.4   11.0    11.3
        Rhode Island      10.6    11.8   10.0    10.7    11.3   11.7    11.3
        South Carolina    15.6    13.3   11.9    14.0    14.0   14.2    13.7
        South Dakota      13.6    13.0     9.3   10.9    12.5   12.7    12.0
        Tennessee         15.3    14.5   13.3    14.3    14.9   15.0    15.2
        Texas             17.7    16.1   14.9    15.8    16.4   16.5    16.4
        Utah               8.0     8.5     8.1    9.8     9.6     9.4    9.5
        Vermont           10.2    10.6   10.1     9.4     8.8     8.0    7.7
        Virginia          11.1    11.3     8.1    9.3     9.8     9.5    9.1
        Washington        12.0    10.0     9.4   11.4    11.7   11.4     9.9
        West Virginia     17.9    17.6   15.8    16.9    16.1   15.6    15.0
        Wisconsin          8.8     8.6     8.8    8.8    10.2   10.8    10.9
        Wyoming           11.1    12.0   11.0     9.1     9.6   10.1    10.2


          U.S. total      14.0    13.2   11.9    12.1    12.4   12.6    12.5

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Poverty in the United States: 2002, Series P60-
222; Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States, 2003,
Series P60-226; Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States,
2004, Series P60-229; Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United
States, 2005, Series P60-231; and Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in
the United States, 2006, Series P60-233.
More called poor
 Census shows rise in Iowa poverty rates
 By Steve Gravelle
 The Gazette
  Iowa grew poorer over the first five years of the decade, a trend that’s more dramatic in some areas and
includes middle-class incomes.
  “It just emphasizes that the recovery has not trickled down to the average person in Iowa,” said Peter
Fisher, research director for the Iowa Policy Project in Iowa City.
  “It’s a recovery in terms of GDP (gross domestic product) and corporate profits, but it’s not in terms of
wages and jobs we’ve lost.” According to statistics released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau,
308,713 Iowans were in poverty in 2005, a jump of 30 percent over five years.
  Linn County’s poverty rate increased from 6.1 percent to 10 percent between 2000 and 2005. Johnson
County’s poverty rate nearly doubled — from 8.8 percent in 2000 to 16.8 percent in 2005 — a measure that
Fisher said is distorted by the number of low-income University of Iowa students.
  “But if you look at child poverty rates, they’re not as messed up,” Fisher said. “Basically, families in poverty
is what that’s measuring.” Child poverty was up 27 percent in Johnson County, 68 percent in Linn.
Statewide, child poverty was up 29 percent, to 97,700 children.
  The estimates released Wednesday are ordered by the U.S. Department of Education to help it allocate
federal funds to local school districts.
  It’s the first time the Census Bureau has produced estimates using results from its American Community
Survey combined with data from federal tax information, food stamp participation records, statistics from the
2000 census and population estimates.
  Although Iowa’s 10.8 percent poverty rate remained below the nation’s 13.3 percent in 2005, it jumped
from 8.3 percent in 2000, when the national rate was 11.3 percent.
  The younger you are, the more likely you are to be poor, but you don’t have to be poor to feel the economic
pinch.
  Median incomes were up 7.8 percent in Iowa — 10.1 percent nationwide — over the five-year period, while
inflation rose about 13 percent. To have kept pace with inflation, Iowa’s median income in 2005 should have
been nearly $4,000 more than the $43,610 it was.
  Reports like Wednesday’s can help state lawmakers deal with poverty’s effects, Fisher said, but directly
addressing such major economic issues is mostly out of their hands.
  “The federal government has a lot more leverage over the economy than what the states do,” he said.
“There are certain things states can do to alleviate the effects of poverty in the short term.”

				
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