Number of People in Families with Below-Poverty Earnings Has Soared

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The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analyzed recent Census Bureau data to understand the impact of the pandemic on families’ abilities to make ends meet. From February to May, the data showed that the number of non-elderly individuals living in families with combined weekly earnings below the poverty line rose by 14.7 million (24 percent), from 60.4 million to 75.2 million. The number of non-elderly individuals with no family earnings rose even more significantly from 41.5 million to 58 million, an increase of 16.5 million (40 percent). Black and Latino individuals were most significantly impacted. Among non-elderly Black and Latino individuals, the number with below-poverty family earnings rose by 2.7 million (27 percent) and 4.1 million (29 percent), respectively. This is compared to non-Latino whites who experienced an increase of 5.5 million (17 percent).

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