The U.S. Census Bureau released new data on poverty and family income for 2008 on September 10. Poverty declined every year between 1993 and 2000, reaching its lowest level ever for black children and children in female-headed families, but increased during the recession year of 2001 as well as in 2002, 2003, and 2004. The rate then declined slightly in both 2005 and 2006, but increased again in 2007. Given the serious recession and large increases in unemployment in 2008, most analysts predicted an increase in poverty, especially child poverty, in 2008.
On September 10, the day the Census poverty report was released, the Brookings Center on Children and Families held its seventh annual briefing to discuss the new figures and their implications for families and policymakers. The event featured new estimates of the impact of the recession on poverty rates in the future. A panel of experts offered their analysis on the Census report and perspectives on the significance of the new data.
After the discussion, panelists took audience questions.