Watch for August 26 Release of Poverty, Income Statistics

by Guest Blogger, 8/23/2004

This week, the U.S. Census Bureau will release its latest statistics on income, poverty and health insurance coverage, a month earlier than usual. It will show the 2003 poverty rate, household income information, and the percentage of Americans who are uninsured using the Census Bureau's "Current Population Survey" (CPS).

For the first time, the Census Bureau is combining the CPS national data with data from the "American Community Survey" (ACS), which measures a broad range of socio-economic indicators including income, poverty, education, transportation, housing, and labor force status. The ACS covers states, counties, and cities of 250,000 or more. Last year the reports were issued separately, but this joint release will provide a wealth of important information about the state of the nation, including states and some cities, which is especially useful as the election approaches.

The Census Bureau will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. EDT on August 26. To view the webcast (and access the reports), visit the Census Bureau's homepage and click on the income, poverty and health insurance icon in the top left corner.

A number of organizations are planning communications efforts to highlight "Poverty Day" August 26, including the Coalition on Human Needs, Connect for Kids, and Voices for America's Children. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute will be doing quick analyses of the data released that day. State-based groups, including the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) and State Fiscal Analysis Initiative (SFAI), are also engaged in this effort to put a face on the statistics. The data will show:


  • How much the slow recovery has hurt families and children
  • How high child poverty rates are among working families
  • Where are the "winners" and "losers" in this economy
  • Whether families are better off than they were in 2000
  • Whether some families are sinking deeper into poverty.

The focus will be on Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. For information on work being done in those states, contact Debbie Weinstein at the Coalition on Human Needs.

On September 4, the nation's largest anti-poverty organization -- the Community Action Partnership -- also intends to focus the national spotlight on issues facing low-income Americans. The Partnership and its 1,000-member network of Community Action Agencies plan a "No Room for Poverty" National Rally in Washington, D.C. Thousands will gather on the Ellipse to urge Americans to work together to eradicate the causes of poverty and call on the Bush Administration to convene a White House Conference on American Poverty.