Research / BFI Working PaperMar 28, 2022

The Change in Poverty from 1995 to 2016 Among Single Parent Families

Kevin Corinth, Bruce Meyer, Derek Wu

This paper is the first to examine changes in poverty over time using a comprehensive set of linked survey and administrative data, implementing recommendations of the Interagency Technical Working Group on Evaluating Alternative Measures of Poverty. Using the Comprehensive Income Dataset (CID), we correct for measurement error in survey-reported incomes, focusing on single parent families from 1995 to 2016. Our preferred estimates indicate that single parent family poverty declined by 62% over time, while it fell by only 45% using survey data alone. Moreover, survey-reported deep poverty among single parent families increased over time, while it fell using the CID.

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