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Being a Woman Means You’re More Likely to Be Poor – and 3 Other Things You Should Know about Women and Poverty

More than 1 in 7 women live in poverty.

The Census Bureau just released new data on poverty in the U.S. in 2012. We’re continuing to crunch the numbers (we’ll have other blog posts and analyses), but here’s a first look at the numbers for women and families:

  • More than one in seven women, nearly 17.8 million, lived in poverty. The poverty rate among women was 14.5 percent in 2012, statistically unchanged from 2011, and the highest rate in two decades. 
  • The poverty rate for men in 2012, 11.0 percent, was lower than for women, and also was statistically unchanged from 2011. Although men’s poverty rate in 2012 was higher than in 2007, before the start of the recession, it was lower than women’s poverty rate in 2007—and lower than women’s record-low poverty rate (11.5 percent in 2000).
  • Poverty rates were particularly high for women who head families (40.9 percent), black women (25.1 percent), Hispanic women (24.8 percent), and women 65 and older living alone (18.9 percent).
  • More than one in five children, 21.8 percent, lived in poverty. More than half (56.1 percent) of poor children lived in female-headed families.

These statistics represent real people who can’t afford food for their families and struggle every day to keep their heads above water. Programs like SNAP (formerly Food Stamps), Social Security, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and unemployment insurance make a difference—but despite widespread hardship and a recovery that is providing mostly low-wage jobs for women, some lawmakers are proposing savage cuts to programs that help families meet basic needs, like SNAP, and demanding another round of sequestration cuts to programs that give poor children a chance to get ahead, like Head Start. Yet some of these same lawmakers insist that the very wealthy and big corporations should not pay a penny more in taxes, even though the richest one percent is doing better than ever. It’s unfair, it’s untenable, and it’s un-American.

Be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page during the next week for even more on this topic.

Comments

Women Must At All Times Be Earning Higher Than Any Man

I believe Women must at all times be earning higher than any man on earth. Women are greatest leaders. Women are greatest teachers. Women are greatest governors. Women are greatest inspiration. We are living on a Women's earth and We must all work to ensure all wishes and dreams of every Women is realised in an instant. I thank All Women of earth for Their kindness, lessons and inspiration. It is a joy to live at times of Women's leading life on earth. Women always have and always will remain as the sole leaders of the earth.

Things you should know about women and poverty

I think that cutting funding to is a very big shame. I would not be unhappy if the working salary and pay rate was that equal to men, but as it stands the highest pay rate I can reach isn't even starting salary for most male based jobs. I am a single Mother because her father was allowed to choose to not take any responsibility for her well-being and find it difficult to survive on the salary that I make and the fact that there are no housing regulations that put a cap on the un-affordable cost of housing and utilities. This is the reason that these funding programs are extremely important for the daily living of Canadian citizens. I work a T4 job but am limited due to government regulations.

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