2019 World Day of the Poor

"Before all else, the poor need God and his love, made visible by “the saints next door”, people who by the simplicity of their lives express clearly the power of Christian love."

- Pope Francis, Third World Day of the Poor

How Catholic Charities Helps Those Who are Poor

National Poverty Facts

What Poverty Looks Like in the United States

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2018, out of the more than 327.1 million people, 38.1 million people lived in poverty in the United States.  That means the poverty rate for 2018 was 11.8%.  This number is determined by the federal government’s official poverty threshold, which in 2018 for a family of four is about $25,285. In 2018, the median income for family households was $63,179.

Source: The U.S. Census Bureau: Income and Poverty in the United States 2018; U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2018-2019 Annual Social and Economic Supplements

Children
In 2018, 16.2% of all children (11.9 million) lived in poverty. That means nearly 1 in 6 children live in poverty. People under the age of 18 represented 22.6% of the total population in 2018 and 31.1% of the people in poverty.

Source: The U.S. Census Bureau: Income and Poverty in the United States 2018; U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2018-2019 Annual Social and Economic Supplements

Though the official census data gives seniors a 2018 poverty rate of only 9.23%, the Supplemental Poverty Measure, which accounts for expenses such as the rising costs of health care, raises the senior poverty rate to 13.6%.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2019 Annual Social and Economic Supplement

An estimated 11.1% of U.S. households were food insecure at least some time during the year in 2018, meaning they lacked access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.  

Source: Household Food Security in the United States in 2018, ERR-270, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, in 2018, 552,830 people in the United States were homeless and 36,361 of the group were children.  88,640 individuals or 16% of the homeless population are chronically homeless, which means they often have a disability and have experienced homelessness for a year or longer.

Source: National Alliance to End Homelessness

You Can Help Make a Difference

ADVOCATE

Catholic Charities USA monitors over 200 federal programs impacting millions of people who are poor and vulnerable.  Guided by Catholic Social Teaching, Catholic Charities USA weighs in on the most critical issues including:  Immigration and Refugee issues, Healthcare Reform, the Farm Bill and Federal Social Safety Net programs.

Learn more about our Advocacy efforts here.

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Promote Awareness

Host a Poverty Simulation
One way to bring about awareness of poverty is to conduct a Poverty Simulation in your parish, school or community.

Learn more about how to host a poverty simulation

Share on Social Media
Use the resources below in social media posts to educate your network about poverty in the United States and how they can help.

World Day of the Poor Resources

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