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Latest US poverty statistics: U-M experts can comment

Jared Wadley, 734-936-7819,
Kristen Kerecman, 734-604-2891,

U-M has a satellite uplink TV studio and an ISDN radio line for interviews.


The U.S. Census Bureau will release its 2017 statistics on poverty this week. The University of Michigan has experts available to discuss the latest findings compared to 2016 rates of 12.7 percent (40.6 million people) for poverty.

David Johnson,
director of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and research professor at the Institute for Social Research, can discuss the measurement of poverty and inequality. He has served for eight years as the senior executive at the Census Bureau
overseeing the official poverty estimates and the development of the supplemental poverty measure.

Contact: 734-647-4076,

William Elliott III,
professor of social work, can discuss wealth inequality. A leading researcher in college savings accounts and college debt, Elliott is also focused on public policies related to issues of economic inequality and social development. His research
has served as the impetus for Children’s Savings Account programs and policies across the U.S.

Contact: 734-764-9340,

Trina Shanks,
associate professor of social work and faculty associate at the Institute for Social Research, has conducted research on the impact of poverty and wealth on child well-being; asset-building policy and practice across the life cycle; and community
and economic development.

Contact: 734-764-7411,

H. Luke Shaefer,
director of Poverty Solutions at U-M and associate professor of social work and public policy, can discuss the measurement of poverty and alternative metrics for measuring hardship. He has published articles on rising extreme poverty in the U.S.,
the effects of major anti-poverty programs and low-wage work.

Contact: 734-936-5065,

For more poverty experts, visit