NPC study: Even among low-income families with children, the gap is widening

May 22, 2012
"Off the Charts," a blog written by policy analysts and researchers at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, featured two recent studies by the Ford School-based National Poverty Center.

The blog entry, "After Welfare Reform, the Poorest Families had More Trouble Paying the Bills," focused on a working paper by NPC research affiliate Luke Shaefer and former NPC postdoctoral fellow Marci Ybarra. The study examined how the mid-1990s welfare reforms impacted low-income households with children between 1992 and 2005. Shaefer and Ybarra found that families that were well below the poverty line actually had a harder time paying utilities bills and meeting essential household expenses, while material hardship decreased among the "near poor," families at or slightly above the poverty line.

The blog also referred to a NPC policy brief co-authored by Shaefer documenting the growth of the "extreme poor" in the United States, families with children living on less than $2 a day as a result of long-term unemployment and limited public assistance.