The Cost of Poverty

According to the U.S. Census Bureau the poverty line for a family of four in America is $21, 027.  The U.S. has one of the highest relative poverty rates among industrialized nations, revealing the great disparity between the rich and the poor.  The Luxembourg Income Study claims that the U.S. has the highest poverty rate for children among the nations that make up the OECD.  This video, created by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, shows what it is like, financially, for a family of four to try and get by with income below the poverty line.  It does not take into account other social problems that are associated with the struggle to try and overcome poverty, but it begins to give the viewer a sense of the basic budgeting questions that the poor have to take into account. 

The National Alliance to End Homelessness, connecting poverty and housing, adds, “As incomes fail to keep pace with housing costs, Americans face complicated choices: desperately trying to put food on the table, pay for quality healthcare, educate their children, and keep a roof over their head. Those that cannot manage that balancing act become homeless or live on the periphery. The number of households that are paying over 50 percent of their income toward housing, or severely cost burdened, is estimated to be 15.8 million. 5.2 million households are considered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to be living in “worst case housing” conditions, meaning they spend 50 percent of their income on rent and earn only 50 percent of the area median income or live in severely substandard housing.”

Click to view Poverty USA.

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