Special Populations

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A discussion of poverty is not complete without a discussion of special populations. By any measure, poverty levels are different between different groups of people.

According to the most recent data from the US Census, 11.6% of white people in our country live with incomes under the Federal Poverty Level. African Americans are more than twice as likely to live in a household with incomes lower than the FPL (25.8%). American Indians have a higher rate of poverty at 27%. Hispanic/Latino Americans have an overall poverty rate of 23.2%.

Sadly, children of all races are more likely to live in poverty than adults.

Why are the rates so different? How can that be changed? Should anti-poverty efforts be designed with these statistics in mind?

Unit 5 - Special Populations Overview (PDF)

Unit 5 - Special Populations PowerPoint Slides (PDF)



Video Clips

Suggested/Selected Resources: Books & Films

  • A Framework for Understanding Poverty (Ruby K Payne)
  • Poverty in America: A Handbook (John Iceland)
  • Race, Poverty, and Social Justice: Multidisciplinary Perspectives Through Service Learning (Jose Calderon, Gerald Eisman, and Robert Corrigan)
  • Rethinking Social Policy: Race, Poverty, and the Underclass (Christopher Jencks)
  • Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools (Jonathan Kozol)
  • The Colors of Poverty: Why Racial and Ethnic Disparities Exist (Ann Chih Lin and David R. Harris)
  • The Fruits of Their Labor: AtlanticCoast Farmworkers and the Making of Migrant Poverty, 1870-1945 (Cindy Hahamovitch)
  • The Kids Left Behind: Catching Up the Underachieving Children of Poverty (Robert Barr)
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Michelle Alexander and Cornel West)
  • The Other America: Poverty in the United States (Michael Harrington)
  • Unhealthy Cities: Poverty, Race, and Place in America (Kevin Fitzpatrick and Mark LaGory)
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