ERIC Number: ED285960
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Aug-17
Reference Count: 0
Gap between Rich and Poor Widest Ever Recorded: Poor Grow Poorer.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Washington, DC.
This report analyzes recent Census data on poverty and income for 1986. While the poverty rate declined slightly in 1986, it remained at an unusually high level for the fourth year of an economic recovery, and minority poverty rates remain far higher than those of the general population. The poor grew poorer in 1986, and the gap between rich and poor families--and between rich and middle class families as well--reached its widest point in at least 40 years. The data show that 13.6 percent of Americans were poor in 1986, a modest improvement over the 14 percent poverty rate for 1985. However, the 1986 poverty rate was higher than that for 1977 and 1980, although unemployment was at nearly identical levels in all three years. Some 41.5 percent of all poor people aged 15 and over worked in 1986, equal to the highest percentage since 1968. While poverty among children edged down from 1985 to 1986, it remains far above the levels of the 1970s. Poverty rates remain particularly high for minority children. The poverty rate for the elderly was 12.4 percent in 1986, the same level as in 1984 and marginally below the 12.6 percent of 1985. The 1986 Black poverty rate was slightly lower than that in 1985, but the number of Blacks living in poverty increased. The Hispanic poverty rate showed a more significant decline from 1985, but this masks the longer trend in which Hispanic poverty rates have been rising. Poverty measures that include the value of non-cash benefits demonstrate that poverty has risen much faster in recent years than the official measure of poverty indicate. Eight graphs and tables are included. (KH)
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Washington, DC.