I’m Mary Walden, with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective. Today’s program looks at extreme poverty. Mike, poverty is a constant concern in our country, and each year the federal government releases official poverty rates for the nation and states. But I’ve heard of a complementary concept termed “extreme poverty.” What is it and how does it differ from the common poverty measure?
Mike: Summary Answer
- Think of extreme poverty as the poorest of the poor
- The most common measure is a person living on less than $2 a day
- Some studies indicate the number individuals living in extreme poverty has been rising
- However, as with the overall poverty rate, individual classified as living in extreme poverty are done so before the value of government programs are included
- Once programs like SNAP (food stamps) and Medicaid are included, a recent study showed 90% of those classified as in extreme poverty are now not living in that condition
- Further, of those who remain, 90% are single individuals, suggesting further outreach efforts may be needed to get them assistance
- I’m MW
And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.