On the international stage, poverty is increasingly understood multi-dimensionally as a deprivation of wellbeing in several dimensions rather than solely as a lack of income or low consumption. In the U.S., recent research shows that many people who are not counted as poor under the official or supplemental measures of income poverty experience multidimensional poverty. Yet there is no monitoring of multidimensional poverty. This paper examines trends in multidimensional poverty in the U.S. since 2013 using a measure that includes deprivations in family income, selfreported health status, educational attainment, employment status, and health insurance coverage. Using Current Population Survey data for years 2013 to 2017, the percentage of the total population experiencing multidimensional poverty decreased significantly each year, from 13.8% in 2013 to 10.0% in 2017. However, between 2016 and 2017, the extent of the decline in multidimensional poverty was smaller than in earlier years and became less widely shared across population groups. Increased deprivations in health insurance explain this more limited decline in multidimensional poverty in 2017.

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Economics Bulletin

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This is an article published Economics Bulletin in 2019, available online.