Americans in Poverty
The United States determines the poverty rate by using a threshold that represents the minimum amount of cash income required to support families of various sizes. In 2015, the threshold for a single individual under 65 years old was $12,331. For two adults with two children, the threshold was $24,036. In 2014, 14.8 percent of all U.S. citizens lived in poverty.
The poverty rate above masks considerable variation between racial and ethnic backgrounds. Rates for blacks and hispanics far exceed the national average with 26.2 percent of blacks and 23.6 percent of Hispanics in poverty compared to 10.1 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 12 percent of Asians.
Poverty rates are highest for families headed by single women, especially if they were black or hispanic. In 2014, 30.6 percent of households headed by single women were poor, as compared to 15.7 percent of households headed by single men.
U.S. children represent a disproportionate share of poverty in this country, making up 33.3 percent of the poor while only making up only 23.1 total population. (All data from University of Michigan National Poverty Center)
This page will track Trump’s statements, policies, and actions as they relate to Americans in poverty.
|2015.08.21||Trump is asked to comment about two of his supporters who brutally beat and urinated on a homeless man while saying, “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,” Trump responds to the question with, "The people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. " washingtonpost.com (See also Mexican Americans, Racism, 2016 Campaign, Hate Crimes, Trump Effect)|
|2016.11.16||Anti-poverty advocates worry Trump administration will cut safety net spending and further marginalize the poor. npr.org|
|2016.11.29||Global experts predict global efforts to combat poverty and inequality will face setbacks in the Trump era. reuters.com|
|2016.12.07||The House Agriculture Committee's GOP majority lays groundwork for overhauling food stamps pbs.org|
|2016.12.12||Anti-hunger advocates concerned that Trump administration will make cuts to food stamps. post-gazette.com|
|2017.02.03||The FCC is stopping nine companies from providing federally subsidized Internet to the poor. washingtonpost.com (See also Technology)|
And it could signal broader restrictions for the program known as Lifeline.
|2017.11.16||The Federal Communications Commission took steps Thursday to roll back Lifeline — a program that subsidizes broadband and phone service for low-income households. thehill.com (See also Technology)|
|2017.12.07||Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has shifted course, and is now essentially ending a special $460 million program that has dramatically reduced homelessness among chronically sick and vulnerable veterans. politico.com (See also Reversals)|
|2018.02.01||The Department of Justice has “effectively shuttered” an office created during the Obama administration to expand access to legal services to people who can’t afford them. splinternews.com (See also Department of Justice, Jeff Sessions)|
|2018.04.25||U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson proposed raising the amount that low-income families are expected to pay for rent — tripling it for the poorest households — as well as making it easier for property owners to demand work requirements for those receiving federal housing subsidies. washingtonpost.com (See also Department of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson)|
|2018.09.22||Trump administration officials announced that immigrants who legally use public benefits like food assistance and Section 8 housing vouchers could be denied green cards under new rules aimed at keeping out people the administration deems a drain on the country. nytimes.com (See also Immigration, Immigrants, Racism, Department of Homeland Security)|
A rule proposed by the Trump administration could force immigrants seeking permanent resident status to prove they will never become reliant on government assistance.
|2018.11.11||Donald Trump doesn't want to give Puerto Rico any more federal money for its recovery from Hurricane Maria, because he claims, without evidence, that the funds are being misused. axios.com (See also False Statements, Unpresidential Behavior)|
|2018.12.20||The Trump administration unveiled a plan to force hundreds of thousands more Americans to hold jobs if they want to keep receiving food stamps, pursuing through executive powers what it could not achieve in Congress. washingtonpost.com (See also Department of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue)|
The move would bypass Congress after lawmakers declined to pass new work requirements as part of the farm bill.