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Census Report Cites Poverty Mobility

NEW figures from the US Census Bureau support the opinions of social researchers who contend that in the United States there is a great deal of mobility in and out of poverty. One-quarter of the Americans who lived below the official poverty line in 1984 had climbed out of poverty by 1985, according to the new figures based on a Census Bureau survey. The mobility occurred in the other direction, as well. One of every five people who were poor in 1985 had not been poor the previous year.

The same survey produced figures that contradicted prevalent opinion about what happens to the incomes of men and women who divorce.

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The Census Bureau reports that on average the income of women dropped 10 percent, and the income of men did not change. It has been frequently asserted by social researchers that women who divorce often lose as much as 75 percent of their income, and that their former husbands, on the other hand, come out of divorce with a much higher income.

In terms of mobility in and out of poverty, the survey found that young adults - from 18 to 24 years of age - are most the likely to leave poverty. This may be because they are gaining either full-time employment or much-improved jobs for the first time.

By contrast, children and the elderly are most likely to remain in poverty from one year to the next, the Census Bureau reports.

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