The Census Bureau will release new data on poverty and family income for 2003 on August 26. The new numbers will allow for a more detailed analysis of how children and families are faring in an uncertain economy. Poverty declined every year between 1993 and 2000, reaching its lowest level ever for black children, but then increased slightly during the recession in 2001 and 2002. Researchers who track child poverty are awaiting the Census figures to determine whether poverty among children has continued to increase.
On the day the numbers are released, the Brookings Welfare Reform & Beyond initiative will hold a briefing for press and the public to discuss the new figures and their implications for families and policymakers. A panel of experts with a broad range of opinions will offer their reactions to the report as well as their perspectives on the significance of the new data. Panelists will address larger questions prompted by the numbers, including whether poverty increased in 2003 and by how much, and what impact the economy is having on various population groups and types of families.