More Poverty in U.S. than in Other High-Income Nations: LIS Study

Research by the GC’s Luxembourg Income Study Center figures prominently in the 2016 Poverty and Inequality Report, an influential publication released by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality this week.

The chapter co-authored by Professor Janet Gornick (Political Science/Sociology), director of the LIS Center, reveals several key findings:

  • Using a relative poverty standard for disposable household income, the U.S. poverty rate exceeds that reported in all of the other high-income countries in the LIS study, with the sole exception of Israel.

  • The U.S. reports the highest percentage of children living in poverty.

  • Americans living in single mother-headed households face the highest poverty rate among LIS’ 20 study countries.

  • Across these study countries, the risk of poverty falls as educational attainment rises and as labor market attachment increases. In the case of education, the gradient in the U.S. is comparatively steep (i.e., education is an especially important poverty prevention tool).

  • National-level policies and institutions play a major role in shaping poverty outcomes.

Findings based on LIS data also appear in chapters on labor markets, safety net, and income inequality.

The full report examines the “state of the union” on poverty, inequality, and labor market outcomes. Its purpose is to ensure that critical facts on poverty and inequality enjoy the same visibility as other indicators of the country’s health, according to the editors.

Founded in 2006, the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality is one of the country’s three national poverty centers supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Read more about the LIS Center.

Submitted on: FEB 3, 2016

Category: Faculty Activities | General GC News | Luxembourg Income Study Center