The new face of poverty: young people

Social Security has done what it was intended to do. Now, what’s the plan for younger people?

Pew Research today takes a look at the changing demographics of America’s poor and finds that far fewer elderly — over 65 — are poor today. The new face of poverty in America is people under 18.

Consider this chart:

Pew Research

And more than half of the nation’s poor are in their prime working years.

Pew says the structure of poor families is different now, too. “In 1973, the first year for which data are available, more than half (51.4%) of poor families were headed by a married couple; 45.4% were headed by women. In 2012, just over half (50.3%) of poor families were female-headed, while 38.9% were headed by married couples,” Pew says.

Poverty among African Americans is still twice the rate for whites, but it’s dropped from 41 percent after President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty to 27 percent in 2012. But more than half of the 22 million-person increase in official poverty between 1972 and 2012 was among Hispanics, according to Pew.

  • MrE85

    Young people always fight the wars…including the War of Poverty, it would seem.