Census Data Show No Major Changes in DC Poverty in 2008: Yet Figures Reveal Large Disparities in Poverty between Different Population Groups

Poverty rates remained steady in the District from 2007 to 2008, according to annual U.S. Census data released on September 29.

The overall poverty rate among District residents rose slightly, from 16.4 percent in 2007 to 17.2 percent in 2008, according to the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey. However, the increase is not statistically significant due to the survey’s margin of error. According to the data, between 89,000 and 104,000 District residents lived under the federal poverty line in 2008, which was $21,200 for a four-person family with two children.

The new survey ended in December 2008, reflecting only the initial months of the national economic downturn. Given the steep increase in unemployment and in public assistance rolls in DC since January, it is likely that poverty has worsened in 2009.

To read the complete finding of the report, click here.