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September 12, 2012

U.S. Census Bureau's New Annual Report on Poverty


The U.S. Census Bureau just released its annual report on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage. A lot of ink will be spilled over the finding that median income fell, inequality increased, but poverty rates held constant.

Behind these aggregate numbers there are a lot of unanswered questions about how people in the U.S. with incomes at the median and below manage their financial lives. How do the people represented in these aggregate numbers make ends meet? What financial services do they use? What financial services do they need.

The U.S. Financial Diaries project is attempting to answer these questions by tracking more than 250 low- and moderate-income households in four geographic areas over a year and collecting highly detailed data on household financial activity. By using the financial diaries methodology (used previously in the global financial diaries project) we're gaining unprecedented insight into the financial lives of poor households in the U.S.

Learn more about the study and join the mailing list for updates on the findings at

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