The past few years – particularly following the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri and subsequent investigations – have brought increased attention to a mounting problem: jailing the poor when they can’t pay fines and fees ordered by courts. This practice has been called the “criminalization of poverty”.

The U.S. Census Bureau has released an infographic depicting how the government has measured and tracked poverty since 1960. Check it out here:

According to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the official poverty rate in 2014 was 14.8 percent - which means a total of 46.7 million people in the U.S. fell under the poverty line. The poverty threshold for a single person under the age of 65 with no children was $12,316 in 2014.  For a family of four, the poverty threshold was $24,230.

According to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, real median household income held steady in 2014 at $53,657, with no statistically significant difference over 2013 levels. The same was true of the official poverty rate, which has remained around 14.8 percent for four consecutive years. The report, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2014, also found that the percentage of people without health insurance coverage declined nearly 3 percentage points, falling from 13.3 percent in 2013 to 10.4 percent in 2014.

However, for each of these measures, states varied widely. Choose an infographic below to learn more.

The poverty guidelines for 2015 are available and published here in the Federal Register. These guidelines -- often cited as 100 percent of the federal poverty line -- are used to determine eligibility for a number of stata and federal programs. Sometimes eligibility is greater than 100 percent; for instance, the Affordable Care Act allows states to expand Medicaid eligibility to 138 percent of federal poverty. 

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that the national poverty rate fell from 15.0 percent in 2012 to 14.5 percent in 2013 - the first time the rate has fallen in eight years. The poverty rate for children under 18 also declined in 2013 for the first time since 2000 - from 21.8 percent in 2012 to 19.9 percent in 2013.

Researchers at the Center for American Progress estimate that hunger costs the U.S. at least $167.5 billion every year based on a combination of lost economic productivity, increased education expenses, avoidable health care costs, and the cost of charity. 

Food insecurity – the lack of consistent access to adequate food – affects millions of children and adults every year in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Almost 15 percent of all households in 2013 were food insecure, or 49.1 million Americans. On average, from 2003-2011, around one in ten households that include children were food insecure, ranging from a low of 5.1 percent in New Hampshire to a high of 12.8 percent in Texas.

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Mirroring a national trend, many more people in the Midwest are living in concentrated areas of poverty — a demographic trend that carries with it implications related to everything from crime and health, to economic and educational opportunity.
Since President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty in 1964, the rate of young children in poverty has only slightly decreased.
“It is the case that children are more often poor...