Monday, September 13, 2010

This Week: Annual Release of Poverty Numbers

The Census Bureau has announced the official dates for the annual release of their data on poverty, income and health insurance coverage. On Thursday, September 16th, the Census will release the 2009 data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and on Tuesday, September 28th, the Census will release the results from the American Community Survey (ACS).

The ACS is the largest household survey in the United States and
offers broad, comprehensive information on social, economic, and housing data. The ACS is designed to provide information at various geographic and community levels. The CPS is a detailed questionnaire and serves as the source of information used to produce the official annual estimate of poverty, as well as to estimate a number of other socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, including income, health insurance coverage, school enrollment, marital status, and family structure. The Census Bureau provides a detailed table that summarizes the key differences between the two instruments.

Most experts expect that when the data is released this month that the poverty rate will have increased in 2009, particularly for child poverty, due to the recession and the growth in unemployment. The Brookings Institution is holding its’
eighth annual briefing, Poverty and Income in 2009: A Look at the New Census Data and What the Numbers Mean, to discuss the new data and its’ implications for families and policymakers. Ron Haskins, Rebecca Blank, Wade Horn, Nicholas Eberstadt, and Avis Jones-DeWeever will provide expert insight on the significance of the new figures.

For policymakers, this data serves as a great tool to combine with knowledge of community specific needs. Combining the official data with research and community-specific information can assist policymakers in crafting policy that will best serve those in need of support during this recession.

For more on Family Economic Success.

For more on Financing Community Change work that can support efforts in your community.

To register for the Brookings Institution event, Poverty and Income in 2009: A Look at the New Census Data and What the Numbers Mean