Giving Compass' Take:

· Writing for The Brookings Institution, Andre M. Perry explains that despite all of the talk about a booming economy, poverty is on the rise in America and needs to be addressed.

· How can donors help address poverty in America?

· Here's how philanthropy can address poverty.

Here is a rarely publicized fact about our booming economy: Despite stock market highs and low unemployment, poverty in the U.S. is pervasive. The number of people earning less than $25,750 for a family of four is rising in both Republican and Democratic districts, and across racial and geographic lines. According to an analysis of Census Bureau data by Stateline, a division of the Pew Charitable Trusts, poverty increased in 30% of all U.S. counties between 2016 and 2018. Researchers found that poverty cut across racial and geographic boundaries “from 97% white and solidly Republican-voting Carter County in Kentucky to black-majority, Democratic Bullock County in Alabama.”

There’s a silver lining behind this economic storm cloud. Solving for poverty could potentially bridge the racial, geographic, and political divides that are eroding any appearance of cohesion the country may have. Poor people from diverse backgrounds share in a common suffering that we all should be rallying to alleviate.

Economic distress between political districts deserves attention. Incomes in Republican-voting districts have declined from $55,000 to $53,000 since 2008, according to Brookings analysis. Democratic districts, however, have seen median household income rise from $54,000 in 2008 to $61,000 in 2018.

That doesn’t mean all Democrats are benefiting from the economy, however. Additional Brookings research found that 54% of Black workers and 63% of Latino or Hispanic workers (who are more likely to vote Democratic) are disproportionately working in low-wage jobs, compared to 36% of white workers and 40% of Asian American workers (the national average for all workers is 44%). Meanwhile, the Black unemployment rate in Democratic-voting cities remains twice that of their white counterparts.

Read the full article about fighting poverty in America by Andre M. Perry at The Brookings Institution.