New census figures Thursday are expected to show that the poverty rate rose in 2008. But the government still measures poverty the same way it did more than 40 years ago, and many experts think that gives an inaccurate measure of what’s going on.
New York City developed a new measure last year based on recommendations by the National Academy of Sciences that takes into account expenses such as child care and health care costs. The result, according to backers of the new formula, is a more realistic picture of today’s world. They’re pushing the federal government to make a similar change.
Living At The Line
It’s not easy to define who is or isn’t poor.
Take Sandra Killett, a divorced mother of two, who lives in Harlem. Killett recently got a job at a foster care and adoption agency. It pays $29,000 a year — which puts her well above the federal poverty line. But Killett — a very upbeat New Yorker — is still struggling.
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