The Census Bureau released new data on poverty and family income for 2006 on August 28. 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, before declining slightly in 2005. Researchers who track child poverty were awaiting the 2006 Census figures to determine whether poverty among children will continue to decline.
On the day the Census poverty report is released, the Brookings Center on Children and Families held a briefing to discuss the new figures and their implications for families and policy-makers. The event featured a response to the new poverty numbers by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and discussion of recent initiatives by his administration to fight poverty. Brookings president Strobe Talbott will introduce the mayor. A panel of experts also offered their reactions to the Census Bureau report and their perspectives on the significance of the new data. Ron Haskins, senior fellow and author of Work over Welfare (Brookings, 2006), will introduce the session. The panel took questions from the audience following their presentations.