The Dynamics of Poverty in the United States:
A Review of Data, Methods, and Findings
This paper published by the Urban Institute reviews the literature on poverty dynamics in the United States. It surveys the most prevalent data, theories, and methods used to answer three key questions:
- How likely are people to enter, exit, and reenter poverty?
- How long do people remain in poverty?
- What events are associated with entering and exiting poverty?
The paper then analyzes the combined findings of the literature, discussing overarching patterns of poverty dynamics, differences among demographic groups, and how poverty probabilities, duration, and events have changed over time. It concludes with a discussion of the policy implications of these findings and avenues for future research.
The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders.