The Expanding Gender Gap in Poverty Rates in the United States

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released its annual report on poverty in the United States. The data shows that in 2020, 12.6  percent of all women and girls in the United States lived in poverty. this was up from 11.5 percent in 2019 For all males, the poverty rate in 2020 was 10.2 percent, up 9.4 percent. Thus, the gender gap in poverty rates expanded in the year in which the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the U.S. economy.

There were more than 10.1 million women and girls who lived in families where their incomes were less than one half of the official poverty rate. There were just 7.8 million men who lived in these conditions of severe poverty.

In 2019, only 4.7 percent of married-couple families lived in poverty. For families headed by a single man, 11.4 percent of all families were poor. But for families headed by a single woman, 23.4 percent of all families were poor. Once again the gender poverty gap expanded from 2019

Obviously, these women living in poverty have major disadvantages in access to higher education, a path that might provide them a way out of poverty.

Filed Under: Research/Study

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