The Census Bureau released new data on poverty and family income for 2005 on August 29. Poverty declined every year between 1993 and 2000, reaching its lowest level ever for black children, but then increased during the recession year of 2001 as well as in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Researchers who track child poverty are awaiting the 2005 Census figures to determine whether poverty among children has continued to increase.
On the day the Census poverty report was released, the Brookings Center on Children and Families held a briefing to discuss the new figures and their implications for families and policymakers. A panel of experts with a broad range of opinions offered their reactions to the report as well as their perspectives on the significance of the new data. Ron Haskins, senior fellow and author of Work over Welfare (Brookings, 2006) moderated.