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Poverty is a women’s issue. Nearly six in ten poor adults are women, and more than half of all poor children live in families headed by women. Poverty rates are especially high for single mothers, women of color, and elderly women living alone.

In addition to the resources below, please see NWLC's detailed analysis of the 2013 Census poverty data, as well as past reports on women's income and poverty rates.


Reports & Toolkits | Insecure & Unequal: Poverty Among Women and Families 2000-2012

September 26, 2013

This report provides a gender analysis of national and state poverty and income data for 2012, released by the Census Bureau in September 2013.


Fact Sheet | National Snapshot: Poverty Among Women & Families, 2012

September 18, 2013

The poverty rates for women, like poverty rates overall, remained at historically high levels in 2012, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released in September 2013. Women’ poverty rates were once again substantially above the poverty rates for men.


Fact Sheet | FAQs about the Census Bureau’s Official Poverty Measure

September 19, 2013

Each year, the Census Bureau releases data on poverty and income in the United States, and the National Women’s Law Center analyzes these data to provide a picture of how women and their families are faring. The following frequently asked questions take a closer look at what the Census Bureau numbers tell us—and don’t tell us—about poverty.


Infographics and Internet Memes | Women and Poverty, State by State

September 24, 2013

More than one in seven women, nearly 17.8 million, lived in poverty last year. Poverty rates were particularly high for families headed by single mothers – more than four in ten (40.9 percent) were poor. More than half (56.1 percent) of poor children lived in female-headed families in 2012.


More Resources

Issue Briefs | Cutting Programs for Low-Income People Especially Hurts Women and Their Families

May 02, 2014

Infographics and Internet Memes | Women and the Minimum Wage, State by State

April 22, 2014

Issue Briefs | Union Membership is Critical for Women’s Wage Equality

March 12, 2014

Fact Sheet | Wage Gap: State Rankings 2012

November 14, 2013

Reports & Toolkits | Insecure & Unequal: Poverty Among Women and Families 2000-2012

September 26, 2013