What to watch for when Census releases its 2022 poverty estimates

Source: Niskanen Center
by Zachary Parolin

“The Census Bureau next week will release its poverty estimates for 2022, a year that featured surging inflation, a rapidly recovering labor market, and an end to most pandemic-era income support. The last three Census poverty reports were notable for each pointing to record-low poverty rates. This year’s report is bound to be notable for different reasons: the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) rate is likely to have increased sharply from 2021 to 2022, while the Official Poverty Measure (OPM) rate may have shown little change or even a decline. Meanwhile, higher living costs and declining income support are likely to compete for space in public narratives about these trends. To help navigate the potentially-conflicting poverty numbers, and the competing factors driving them, I highlight three storylines that are likely to be central to the Census Bureau’s upcoming findings. ” (09/05/23)