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Social Work Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2009

Policy

Western Michigan University

Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration

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Full-Text Articles in Social Work

The Failures Of American Poverty Measures, Stephen Pimpare Mar 2009

The Failures Of American Poverty Measures, Stephen Pimpare

The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

How we think about need or deprivation-how we judge its severity, its causes and effects, and the progress we have made (or not made) over time in reducing it-has much to do with how we define and then measure it. And, we measure it poorly. The insufficiencies of official data on American poverty are reasonably well known, yet they continue, nonetheless, to be the principal means by which we gauge need in the United States. After a review of such official measures, this article discusses alternative means of evaluating need in the United States, highlighting the benefits of examining poverty ...