Number of Poor in America Growing Sharply

Number of Poor in America Growing Sharply

Financial experts say a growing number of Americans are poor, or are at risk of becoming poor due to increased strains from the Great Recession. The Great Recession lasted from 2007-2009, but it’s still impacting households today, according to new research released from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

The research reveals that the number of Americans living in poverty increased significantly during the downturn. High unemployment rates and long-term unemployment are reducing the likelihood that the number of poor will drop. In fact, some experts believe it will continue to grow. “Many of the ‘new poor’ are the former middle class,” broadcaster Tavis Smiley noted in a news release. “Poor people are not moochers and welfare queens, as some would like you to believe. Our neighbors, colleagues, and families are all struggling. It’s a problem all of us need to solve together, right now.”

Experts on this topic are discussing whether assistance programs are working. “Promoting sustained economic growth while at the same time protecting the well-being of the poor, the near poor, and the new poor is the central challenge for the leaders of the United States,” say White Paper authors Kristin Seefeldt, assistant professor in the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and John D. Graham, dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and a former senior official with the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. However, many believe that the effects of the Great Recession will continue to impact Americans for years.

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