The Persisting 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 2021, 12.6 percent of all women and girls in the United States lived in poverty. This was the same rate as in 2020 but up from 11.5 percent in 2019. For all males, the poverty rate in 2021 was 10.5 percent, up from 10.3 percent in 2002 and 9.4 percent in 2019.

There were more than 10 million women and girls who lived in families where their incomes were less than one half of the official poverty rate. There were just 8.2 million men and boys who lived in these conditions of severe poverty.

In 2021, only 4.8 percent of married-couple families lived in poverty. For families headed by a single man, 12 percent of all families were poor. But for families headed by a single woman, 23 percent of all families were poor. There were more than 12 million people living below the poverty line in families headed by a single woman, including 6,474,000 children.

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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