Over the last twenty years, the subject of poverty has been debated fiercely by political parties and voters across the US. Despite the heated discussions, there have been major improvements. As you can see from the infographic below, poverty rates have fallen in the last 50 years.
The aim for every US president is to raise standards of living and lift as many people out of poverty as possible, and over the course of successive terms, rates have fallen. In 1959, 27.3% of Americans were living in poverty. In 2014, the figure was 21.1%.
A string of acts and measures have impacted poverty rates and personal wealth over the last 90 years. In 1935, Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced a raft of measures, most notably the Social Security Act, to help those living in poverty, create job opportunities and fund construction projects. Lyndon B. Johnson passed amendments to the act in 1965, launching one of the most instrumental and impactful programs in US history, Medicare and Medicaid. The President also introduced food stamps, grants for education and training programs.
In 2012, 22.1 million Americans were lifted out of poverty as a result of Social Security measures, and 10.3 moved above the poverty line thanks to SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program.
Medicare has undoubtedly revolutionized standards of living among older people, with poverty rates for senior citizens falling from 35.2% in 1959 to 10% in 2014. Medicare reduces the risk of needing to borrow money to fund healthcare by 35 percent.
Infographic Created By Norwich University
This post was a collaboration.