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Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan

Joan and Sanford Weill hall
Suite 5100
735 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091


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Latest US poverty statistics: U-M experts can comment


The U.S. Census Bureau will release its 2018 statistics on poverty this week. The University of Michigan has experts available to discuss the latest findings compared to 2017 rates of 12.3% 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 also is 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,

Kristin Seefeldt

associate professor of social work and public policy, explores how economic and policy changes affect the everyday lives of economically vulnerable families. She conducts research on family financial coping strategies, particularly the use of debt as a way to make ends meet.

Contact 734-615-2113,

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