Poverty and Economic Security

Poverty and Economic Security

View all Demographic Research Reports
While Virginia has a low poverty rate compared to other states, there are stark differences in poverty rates across demographic groups and across regions within the commonwealth. Social safety net programs provide assistance for low-income households and help insure individuals across the economic spectrum against the risk of falling into poverty. Forty-six percent of Virginia households receive some form of social safety net assistance. Without support from these programs, a larger number of Virginians would live with incomes below the poverty line.


Social Safety Net Timeline


Living Wage Map and Graph


Blog Posts

How to modify poverty calculations for college towns
There is a straightforward way for city, town, and county officials to compare official poverty rates with non-student poverty rates using publicly-available Census Bureau data.

How much does the social safety net help?
See how much the social safety net contributes to a household’s available resources.

Happy birthday, Mollie Orshansky!
She changed the way we think about poverty with her measure that was groundbreaking for her time.

Who is hungry in Virginia?
To understand who is hungry in Virginia, we need to look beyond SNAP to those ineligible for the program.

Modest, secure, or self-sufficient? Living wage in Virginia:
How do researchers calculate living wage? Turns out, it’s not that easy. Let’s check out living wage calculations for Virginia.

Low-wage workers are more diverse than you think:
Understanding how an increased minimum wage will affect individuals first requires examining common arguments about low-wage workers.

Extended families: Weapon against child poverty?
By banding together, the members of extended families pool economic resources, which may help keep them above poverty.

Will promoting marriage solve childhood poverty in Virginia?
In 2011, one in three Virginia children lived in economic insecurity.

Families matter
When not everyone who shares the same pool of financial resources is counted, we end up doing a poor job of measuring how much money is actually available to the people who use it.

The Farm Bill’s odd couple: SNAP and agriculture
Wonder why the SNAP and agriculture are in the same bill? Here is a brief history.

SNAP in Virginia
Participation rate varies across Virginia, with participation generally higher among those localities the greatest distance from the D.C. metro area.

Official poverty estimates, in the US and the Commonwealth
There is considerable variation in the poverty rates not only across the country, but also within the Commonwealth.


New Insights on Childhood Poverty (05.2014)
Nearly one in three Virginia children lives in economic insecurity and because children are dependent on those who raise them, strategies to address child poverty typically begin with families.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in VA (01.2014)
In 2012, 11.6 percent of Virginians received benefits every month from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Virginia Poverty Measure (05.2013)
The Virginia Poverty Measure (VPM) was developed to provide a more contemporary and accurate picture of the Virginia population in economic distress.

Insights from the New Virginia Poverty Measure (05.2013)
This report highlights the major findings from the Virginia Poverty Measure publication.

Who Are Virginia’s Poor? (02.2012)
Part one of a two-part report on the social safety net examines the current state of poverty in Virginia.

The Role of the Social Safety Net (02.2012)
Part two of a two-part report illuminates the role of public programs developed to alleviate poverty and support financial security.

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