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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Pearce, Diana M.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    In the most striking socio-economic trend of the past quarter century—termed “economic inequality” by economists—the rich became richer, the poor became poorer, and the middle class became smaller. With costs rising faster than incomes, more and more families are facing economic hardships as they struggle to cover basic needs such as food, shelter, health care and childcare. Yet even as an increasing number of families’ budgets are stretched to the breaking point, the proportion of families in the United States who are officially designated by the federal government as “poor” has fallen to only about 10 percent in 2005. Since many federal and state “safety net” programs only define those with incomes below the official Federal Poverty Level (FPL) as “in need”, as this report will show, a large and diverse group of families who are experiencing economic distress are being routinely overlooked and undercounted.

    This report profiles the “overlooked and undercounted” of Colorado, revealing the extent and nature of the hidden hardships all too many Colorado residents are facing...

    In the most striking socio-economic trend of the past quarter century—termed “economic inequality” by economists—the rich became richer, the poor became poorer, and the middle class became smaller. With costs rising faster than incomes, more and more families are facing economic hardships as they struggle to cover basic needs such as food, shelter, health care and childcare. Yet even as an increasing number of families’ budgets are stretched to the breaking point, the proportion of families in the United States who are officially designated by the federal government as “poor” has fallen to only about 10 percent in 2005. Since many federal and state “safety net” programs only define those with incomes below the official Federal Poverty Level (FPL) as “in need”, as this report will show, a large and diverse group of families who are experiencing economic distress are being routinely overlooked and undercounted.

    This report profiles the “overlooked and undercounted” of Colorado, revealing the extent and nature of the hidden hardships all too many Colorado residents are facing. Central to this analysis is the Self-Sufficiency Standard—a realistic and highly specific measure of income adequacy developed as an alternative to the federal poverty measure—which is used here to determine which households have inadequate income to pay for their most basic needs. The report analyzes U.S. Census data across a wide range of household characteristics (e.g., geographic location, race and ethnicity, employment patterns, gender, and occupation), contrasting the results when the Federal Poverty Level and the Self-Sufficiency Standard are compared to household income. The object is to develop a clear picture of who lacks enough to meet their needs, where they live, and the characteristics of their households. With this information, the findings and conclusions can inform and guide the creation of policies to enable the overlooked and undercounted to achieve economic self-sufficiency. (Author introduction)

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