Yesterday, the Census Bureau released new data on poverty in the U.S. in 2014. We crunched the numbers and reported that more than one in seven (14.7%) women lives in poverty.
But just as the wage gap is larger for women of color, women of color also face higher rates of poverty than women overall. According to 2014 Census figures a quarter of African American women (25%) and a slightly smaller portion of Hispanic women (22.8%) were living in poverty in 2014.
As a Black woman, these numbers are personally distressing for me. And they should be distressing for anyone who cares about women’s and family economic security and the economic health of our country. After all, decreasing poverty for women overall requires lifting women of color out of poverty. And when women and their families are economically stable, the nation prospers, too.
These poverty numbers come as the deadline to pass a spending bill in Congress approaches. As the House and Senate set spending priorities, it is critical that programs for low-income people are protected. But these disturbing poverty rates for women of color are a stark reminder that the decisions made by Congress could lead even more families into poverty.
We’ll be posting more news from the Census Bureau on poverty, health insurance coverage, and the wage gap this week as we continue to analyze the data. Stay tuned for more updates.