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Poverty & Economic Mobility

ASPE releases the annual U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines, which are used to determine financial eligibility for some Federal programs. Presented here are the poverty lines for every State and the District of Columbia. You will also find extensive resources on poverty estimates, trends, and analysis, plus historical information on poverty and the Guidelines. More broadly, this section also encompasses issues like poverty and income dynamics, and asset building and financial literacy.


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Providing TA to Local Programs and Communities: Lessons from a Scan of Initiatives Offering TA to Human Services Programs

January 25, 2018
This scan of public and private technical assistance (TA) initiatives synthesizes lessons, challenges, and best practices for providing federal TA to human services programs working to address poverty and child well-being. The scan, encompassing 18 TA initiatives, is intended to inform decisions about how best to target TA efforts for different situations, audiences, and objectives.

Earnings and Child Support Participation Among Reentering Fathers

September 12, 2017
A father’s incarceration can represent a serious threat to economic stability for his children and family, yet little is known about earnings and child support payments among justice-involved men over the course of incarceration and release.
Report to Congress

Welfare Indicators and Risk Factors, Sixteenth Report to Congress

August 31, 2017
This report provides welfare indicators through 2014 for most indicators and through 2015 for some indicators, reflecting changes that have taken place since enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996.

Income and Employment Fluctuations among Low-Income Working Families and Their Implications for Child Care Subsidy Policy

January 11, 2017
This brief explores income and employment patterns of working families, potentially eligible for Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) subsidies, over a 12-month period.  Analysis of the 2008 panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) waves 8 to 11 (early 2011 to early 2012) followed a group of families who were assumed to be “eligible” for CCDF subsidies because they were

The Effects of Child Care Subsidies on Maternal Labor Force Participation in the United States

December 20, 2016
Research generally has demonstrated the employment benefits of providing child care.  However, much of the existing research on child care policies on parental labor force participation was conducted prior to the early 2000s or in non-U.S.
Report to Congress

Welfare Indicators and Risk Factors, Fifteenth Report to Congress

August 21, 2016
This report provides welfare indicators through 2013 for most indicators and through 2014 for some indicators, reflecting changes that have taken place since enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996.  The report analyzes the proportion of individuals who receive more than half of their total family income in one year from the Temporary As

Older Adults' Living Expenses and the Adequacy of Income Allowances for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services

July 31, 2016
This brief assesses the adequacy of the income allowances granted to older Medicaid HCBS enrollees and their spouses.

Later-Life Household Wealth Before and After Disability Onset

July 31, 2016
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TRIM: A Tool for Social Policy Analysis

July 13, 2016
Since the early 1970s, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) has used the Transfer Income Model (TRIM) to assess how social welfare programs affect family incomes and poverty. TRIM began as a tool to analyze proposed reforms to the nation’s cash welfare program during the Nixon administration.