Accurately measuring poverty is a crucial first step in addressing it. The official poverty rate is the most frequently cited measure of hardship in the country, although both conservatives and liberals see it as providing an incomplete portrait of poverty. Unlike the official poverty rate, the Supplemental Poverty Measure accounts for government transfers and shows that the safety net has played a significant role in alleviating poverty over the last several decades.
Beyond the topline figures, questions like how long families remain in poverty and which programs seem most effective in alleviating it are also crucial areas for research and exploration.
This section of the Spotlight website gathers the latest research, news, and opinion around the effective measurement of poverty