Measuring Access to Opportunity in the United States

Measuring Access to Opportunity in the United States

The federal government’s official poverty measure, created in the 1960s, fails to illustrate the effect of programs designed to help families succeed. This data snapshot highlights the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which captures the effect of safety-net programs and tax policies on families. By using the SPM, researchers have determined that the child poverty rate has declined from 33% to 18% as a result of these programs and policies. Child poverty rates using the SPM are provided for the nation and each state.