RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A new U.S. Census Bureau report showed poverty rates increased for the first time in five years during 2020.
There were 3.3 million more people living in poverty in 2020 compared to 2019.
The largest group experiencing poverty were children.
Sixteen percent of people under age were living at or below the poverty line. It was an increase from 2019 when 14.4 percent of children were living in poverty, according to the report.
The report also showed poverty rates for people 18 to 64 were 10.4 percent in 2020, a 1 percent increase from 2019. The poverty rate for people 65 and older was 9 percent for 2020.
In addition, more children in poverty were uninsured in 2020 than in 2018. Uninsured rates for children under the age of 19 in poverty was 9.3 percent.
Lisa Gennetian, an applied economist studying child poverty and the impact of anti-poverty programs said, “Public policy can reduce the harmful effects of income loss and negative ripple effects of stress associated with economic uncertainty.”
As the Associated Press reported, a more complete supplemental measure of poverty, which takes into account income streams such as stimulus payments, actually showed that the share of people in poverty dipped after the aid was factored in.
They found that overall, federal aid protected families from economic disaster that would have compounded the public health crisis.
The report found the south had the highest poverty rate with 16.6 million people living in poverty.