BALTIMORE (WJZ) – According to a Johns Hopkins economist, the United States has surpassed the number of Americans living in poverty by millions.
Using quarterly spending data rather than annual income data, Bowdoin University economists Robert Moffitt and John Fitzgerald determined that there are 8 million people poorer than the most recent income-based figure. by the government in 2019.
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“It reminds us that a lot of people don’t have enough money to buy the necessities of life,” Moffitt said.
Moffitt and Fitzgerald developed the Additional Spending Poverty Measure, factoring in credit card debt, health care deductions, and other factors not used in the federal government’s assessment. Quarterly spending reports give a better picture “because people are more likely to remember what they bought in that short period of time,” the researchers said.
“If they have health insurance, these families have very high deductibles, so if they get sick, that’s a huge expense, leaving them with less money for food and rent,” Moffitt said. .
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Overall, 48 million people in the US live in poverty, which is about 14.5% of the country’s area.
Economists suspect that number will only grow higher in 2022 as Americans face the pandemic, high inflation, and the end of government programs like the Child Tax Credit. Moffitt said the poverty rate could be as high as 16%.
“We just need to ramp up our efforts because there are many people in worse circumstances than we thought,” he said. “We have a lot of people who think we don’t have a serious poverty problem but it’s very serious and we have to fight it.”
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https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/03/25/us-has-been-undercounting-people-living-in-poverty-hopkins-economist-says/ The Economist Says – CBS Baltimore