Poverty and Income in 2010: A Look at the New Census Data and What the Numbers Mean
The U.S. Census Bureau released new data on poverty and family income for 2010 on September 13. Poverty declined every year between 1993 and 2000, reaching its lowest level ever for black children and children in female-headed families, but increased from 2001 to 2004. The rate then declined slightly in both 2005 and 2006, but increased again in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Given the continuing high rate of unemployment since the Great Recession, many analysts predicted an increase in poverty and child poverty again in 2010.
On September 13, the day the Census poverty report was released, the Center on Children and Families at Brookings held its ninth annual briefing to discuss the new figures and their implications for families and policymakers. A panel of experts offered their analysis on the Census report and perspectives on the significance of the new data.
Director - Maryland Center for Economics and Policy
Professor, Survey Methodology and Economics - University of Maryland
Chair - Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking
Political Analyst - Fox News
Professor and Director, Welfare Reform Academy, University of Maryland
Blanding Professor of Policy Analysis - Cornell University
Esther Care, an education expert at the Brookings Institution, calls the A-F grading system “nonsense.” “Grades are mere proxies for what we value. What we actually value is our children being prepared for the future,” she said. “We need to find ways in educational assessment to convey information about the degree to which they are ready to venture out and to deal constructively with the huge challenges posed by our 21st century.