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Arizona Directions in Brief 1 1
Tom Rex

The war on poverty during the 1960s succeeded, cutting the national poverty rate in half by the early 1970s. Since then, however, the poverty rate of Americans under the age of 65 has increased. The poverty rate has climbed particularly among children; compared to an average of 15.5 percent during the 1971-to-1975 economic cycle, the poverty rate in each of the three cycles since 1982 averaged between 18 percent and 21 percent. One-in-five children lives in poverty and Arizona has consistently experienced higher poverty rates than the national average for all age groups except seniors. The poverty level in 2010 (the latest year for which poverty estimates are available) was $22,113 for a family of four with two children under the age of 18; the level for a family of three with one child was only $17,552. Despite the persistently high poverty among children and their young-adult parents, the nation has not addressed this issue, or the associated topic of income disparity. Read the latest Arizona Directions brief to learn more.