What Do You Know About Poverty in Missouri?

3. Currently, the elderly poverty rate in the United States is higher than the child poverty rate.

b. Correct!

In 2011, the elderly poverty rate (including those people 65 years and over) in the US was 8.7 percent while the child poverty rate (including children under 18 years of age) was 21.9 percent. Though both of these groups have seen declines at times in the number of people living in poverty, cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security payments to the elderly population have protected many elderly people from falling into the poverty range. On the other hand, through the 1980s and 1990s, many children lived in female-headed households where the poverty rate tends to be much higher. In 2000, the poverty rate for married couples was 4.7 percent while for female-headed households it was 24.7 percent. This percentage increases even more for some minority groups. Programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Care Credit may be important in lowering these figures even further.

To find out more about how poverty is measured, please read Measuring Poverty in the United States on the National Center for Children in Poverty website.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, People and Families in Poverty by Selected Characteristics: 2010 and 2011. http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/incpovhlth/2011/table3.pdf.