Poverty Measurement and Trends

The Poverty Research Group will build on and advance the new Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) as well as other new poverty measurement tools. It will do so by (a) developing measurements of poverty at the city and local levels, (b) developing a method for more frequent updating of poverty and hardship measures, (c) assessing poverty in ways that better reflect whether minimum standards of health care and child care are being met, (d) developing a new protocol for measuring trends in the everyday experience of poverty, and (e) developing “stress test” measures that reveal when households are at risk of falling into poverty. This RG will be co-led by Kathryn Edin (Professor of Public Policy and Management, Harvard Kennedy School) and David Betson (Public Policy and Economics, University of Notre Dame).

On October 1, 2013, The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality and the Public Policy Institute of California released the California Poverty Measure (CPM), a new index that improves upon conventional poverty measures. The CPM tracks the full range of necessary expenditures, adjusts for geographic differences in housing costs, and includes food stamps and other non-cash benefits as resources available to poor families. The CPM will reveal which groups and counties have the highest poverty rates and whether California's safety net is successfully reducing poverty. Read the brief here.