Spotlight Exclusives

A Research Tool for Poverty

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Here at OOTS, we۪re always on the lookout for interesting tools to help us learn more about poverty and its place in the public conversation. And when it comes to gauging the popularity of an issue, search engines play an increasingly critical roleit۪s important to know what people are looking for online, especially for leading sites like Google.

That۪s why Google Trends and Google Insights for Search, two services that track how frequently users look for certain terms, can be a useful and interesting way to see how often poverty is on the minds of web users.

Both Trends and Insights for Search show how often a term has been searched for over time and provide search breakdowns for regions, cities, languages, and news coverage. Both tools also allow users to compare how much the popularity of multiple terms have changed over time, so users can see how interest in poverty is changing compared with other issues.

Searches of “poverty” within Trends and Insights for Search show some interesting results:

  • Compared to other U.S. cities, Washington, DC has the highest number of searches for poverty

Two of the most popular searches include “poverty level” and “poverty line”The U.S. has the seventh most searches for poverty, with the Philippines, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Canada taking a lead

Hopefully, policymakers are among those making use of these interesting tools to learn about the public۪s interest in poverty.

Posted by Mike


Here at Out of the Spotlight, we offer a behind-the-scenes look at the latest news and information essential to anyone working to fight poverty. From key political appointees to clashes over policy, we cover the news that doesn۪t always make the evening news. Check out Out of the Spotlight for our take on the twists and turns of the latest political developments and its impact on poverty reduction. Topics and ideas are welcome! Just contact or

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