WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Beverly LaHaye Institute today released a report documenting the glaring omissions in the U.S. Census Bureau’s presentation of the 2001 poverty figures. The bureau’s report was released in September. The data summaries provided by the Census Bureau noted how poverty has risen after four years of decline, but did not reveal that the largest increase in poverty was among single-parent families.
“The Census Bureau is ignoring the elephant in the room; family structure has been and continues to be a major factor contributing to poverty,” said Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Senior Fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute.
Dr. Crouse released BLI’s findings at the 3rd annual Veritas Policy Forum, held today on Capitol Hill. She noted the Census Bureau’s 35-page report, Poverty in the United States 2001, estimated that the poverty level had increased by 591,000 families since the year 2000. The official press release noted that poverty had increased in married-couple families (the accompanying report put that increase at 122,000 families). Yet the press release and accompanying briefing did not even mention the 469,000 increase in the number of poor single-parent families. The increase in the poverty rate for single-parent families was eight times larger than the increase in the poverty rate for married couple families.
“Since the landmark 1996 welfare reform bill we have seen much progress in getting people from welfare to work. Still the current recession reveals the vulnerability of single-parent families. The pending legislative debate on TANF reauthorization needs to be informed by all of the information available. How can policymakers address this issue if the Census Bureau gives incomplete reports to the press and the general public?” Dr. Crouse said.