Giving Compass' Take:

• This article from ideas42 goes over the best methods of calculating how many Americans are experiencing poverty, mainly through the usage of CPI-U (Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers).

• How can we ensure that the formula used to calculate the poverty line both reflects the realities of families living in poverty and is consistent over time?

Here's an article on ending homelessness in America. 

How should we estimate the number of people in the United States experiencing poverty?

The official measurement the government uses is the “poverty threshold.” This metric, developed in the 1960s, assesses whether a family’s income is enough to buy a basket of goods (valued at three times what the average family spent on food in the 1950s). This “size” of the basket has been kept the same for nearly 70 years, but the actual cost has been adjusted to reflect inflation. As of 2016, the poverty line for a family of four (two adults and two children) was $24,339. How we measure the poverty line is important – it determines who is eligible for government programs like Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

It’s not hard to imagine that the current poverty threshold is inaccurate because it fails to reflect the current realities faced by families living in poverty. The original line, based on groceries alone, did not include items like rent or health insurance, which are a growing part of most families’ budgets. The line also excludes many forms of cash or in-kind assistance from government programs.

It’s clear the poverty threshold is in need of an update, but how should such an update be approached?

Read the full article about poverty in the United States by Matt Darling & Allison Yates-Berg at ideas42.