Costs pushing more people into poverty in Massachusetts – Boston News, Weather, Sports – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-09-14 15:25:47 –

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Massachusetts was one of 11 states with higher than traditional poverty rates in the last three years as an alternative poverty indicator to explain government stimulus and housing, commuting, and medical costs. ..

Looking at the three-year average of the Bureau’s official poverty rate from 2018 to 2020, about 565,000 people in Massachusetts are in poverty, which is about 8.2 percent of the population. However, according to the Department’s Supplementary Poverty Control (SPM), approximately 649,000 people, or 9.4 percent of the state’s population, were in poverty during the same period. Published data Tuesday.

The official poverty rate uses total pre-tax cash revenue as a measure of resources, but SPM, in addition to cash revenue, is the value of government stimulus and food, clothing, shelter, and utility bills. Find out what benefits are available for payment. SPM also deducts taxes paid (or adds the value of the tax credit), labor, medical and child support payments.

“The SPM extends official poverty measures by taking into account many of the government’s programs designed to support low-income families and individuals not included in the official measures,” said the Census Bureau. Said Liana Fox, head of the Poverty Statistics Bureau. “Non-cash benefits such as housing and nutritional supplements are added to pre-tax cash income, and necessary expenses such as taxes, work and medical expenses are deducted.”

Other states with higher SPMs than official poverty rates were California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia. According to the Census Bureau, the SPM rate in 30 states was lower than the official poverty rate, and the difference between 9 states was not statistically significant.

“Higher SPM rates per state can occur for a number of reasons,” said the census. “Geographical adjustments to housing costs, and various combinations of housing tenure, can result in higher SPM thresholds. Higher non-discretionary costs, such as taxes and medical costs, result in higher SPM rates. There is a possibility.”

Soaring housing and health care costs have long been a topic of Massachusetts policy debate, and tax burdens here remain a major focus, calling for tax increases from the left and tax cuts from the right.Governor Charlie Baker of the Month Report high housing costs As an “existential challenge” facing Massachusetts.

Nationally, the average poverty rate for the three years from 2018 to 2020 was 11.2% in official measurements and 11.2% in SPM, according to the Census Bureau.

In 2020 alone, the national SPM rate is 9.1%, 2.6 percentage points lower than the 2019 SPM rate of 11.8. The official poverty rate in 2020 was 11.4%, up 1 point from 2019, the first increase after a fifth consecutive year of decline. However, for the first time since SPM was used, its poverty readings were lower than official poverty readings.

The agency reported on Tuesday that the median household income in the United States in 2020 was $ 67,521, down 2.9 percent from the median income of $ 69,560 in 2019.

According to the Census Bureau, the stimulus measures that were part of the federal government’s 2020 response to the COVID-19 pandemic played a major role in pushing down SPM by saving 11.7 million people from poverty. In 2020, two direct cash payments were paid to households, with an average of $ 2,400 for 20% of low-income families and $ 2,890 for middle-income households.

“”[N]Including the payment of resource stimulus, the poverty rate for all would have been 12.7% instead of 9.1%, “said the agency.

The Institute for Tax and Economic Policy also pointed out the payment of stimulus measures as the reason why there was no surge in poverty commensurate with the most severe unemployment surge since the Great Depression in 2020.

“When the health and economic crisis began, we knew that deep government investment was needed to mitigate widespread difficulties,” said Aidan Davis, senior policy analyst at ITP. Told. “Census data could reveal that increased government investment has significantly alleviated poverty … Last half of last year, the country hit poverty hard and saved families’ financial livelihoods across the country. It shows that it can be improved. “

On Thursday, the US Census will provide local-level population and demographic data from the 2020 count of the country’s population in a more user-friendly format. The station made the data available in August, but it was not in a user-friendly format. The data expected on Thursday are said to be exactly the same as those released more than a month ago, with Massachusetts and national legislators preparing to break the boundaries of the new parliament and legislative districts. Therefore, it is very important.

The Special Joint Committee on Constituency Changes, led by Vice-Chair Michael Moran and Senator William Brownsberger, held more than 18 hearings this year on the constituency change process, relatively quickly after the final release of the data. I was able to propose a new district map. ..

2020 census counted 7,029,917 people According to the first release of the data, living in Massachusetts, the number of people living in Massachusetts has increased by 482,288, or 7.4%, above the northeastern average of 4.1% and comparable to the country’s overall growth rate.

“There has been a big change in the state. We’ve seen cities grow dramatically … many of the suburban communities grow as well,” said William Galvin, the state’s liaison to the census. The Secretary of State said in August. “I’m particularly happy to see some of the communities we are most concerned about and know that there is a significant population of non-native born people who are fully counted,” he added. rice field.

The new population data means that the parliamentary district contains 781,000 people, the state Senate district has more than 175,000 people, and the state lower house district has about 44,000 people. Mr Galvin specifically mentioned the possibility of Boston gaining additional seats at the Massachusetts State Capitol, noting that meaningful changes could occur in the district.

(Copyright (c) 2021 State Capitol News Agency.

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