How Did Covid Affect the Poverty Rate?


Real-time Estimates of Poverty Show Poverty Rose after Government Benefits Expired

Real Time Estimates of the Poverty Rate

  • Poverty has risen in recent months as some of the benefits that were part of the government relief package have expired. 
  • Poverty rose 1.4 percentage points from 9.4 percent in the period from April to June to 10.8 percent for August and September, erasing the decline in poverty that occurred early on in the pandemic. 
  • The increase in poverty in recent months was more noticeable for blacks, children, and those with a high school education or less. 
  • The estimates also suggest that poverty rose more in states with less effective unemployment insurance systems. 
  • The recent overall rise raises concerns about possible future increases in poverty given that Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, the additional $600 paid weekly to unemployment insurance recipients, was discontinued at the end of July and Congress has not passed another relief package.

The above bullet points condensed from Real Time Estimates of the Poverty Rate.

Here's an Interactive Chart. 

My Comments

  1. The poverty rate has been falling especially among blacks and those with no college. 
  2. Those looking to give Trump credit for falling poverty rates before Covid hit have evidence in the chart I posted.
  3. Because the Pandemic assistance has now expired, the poverty rate for blacks and those with a high school education or less is now at or above the pre-Covid level.
  4. For most other groups, the poverty rate is now about the same as before Covid hit.

Trends suggest the poverty rate will soon jump above pre-Covid levels due to expiring benefits.


Comments (12)
No. 1-7

16 days till election. Trump’s hero has a message for you.


when am i gettin my check?? im still waitin for another check!!


About that chart giving Trump credit.

Correlation is not causation


I would say during the tail end of an economic expansion the last group to benefit would be those with the least skills and when the music stops those would be among the first hurt


8 Million Have Slipped Into Poverty Since May as Federal Aid Has Dried Up
Two new studies show the effect of the emergency $2 trillion package known as the Cares Act and what happened when the money ran out.
Oct. 15, 2020


I see how my employees, who make more than twice the minimum wage, struggle to live and cope with the local cost of living, which is high and getting higher.....and I have to question the entire premise of a poverty line set below $13K per year for an individual.....under $22K for a family of three.

When you read articles that attempt to describe how somebody can make ends meet on a minimum wage job.....authors can make the math work....but in real life, it doesn't work.

Over the course of time, the productivity of minimum wage workers has gone up tremendously....and the minimum wage hasn't kept productivity, it would be something like $21/hour.

Who gets the benefit of that arbitrage?


The real problem of poverty, (imho) which has no chance of being solved by the government or a minimum wage, though, is divorce, breakdown of the nuclear family, and a healthcare system that rewards staying broke and participating in the underground economy.

Global Economics