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Poverty Facts vs. Myths

Poverty is misunderstood by too many people. Here are the facts…

Unfortunately, there are tons of myths about poverty. Here’s some information that will help you set the record straight.

MYTH: Poverty only exists in third-world countries.

FACT: In 2019, over 34 million Americans lived in poverty (10.5%), down approximately 4.2 million (11.8%) in 2018.   In 2019, of the 12,394,00 million PA residents, approximately 1,517,000 people live in poverty.  2020 numbers are still being calculated.

MYTH: Poor people are lazy.

FACT: The majority of poor people who can work do.  in 2103, 63% of people in poverty were working; 37% were not. 

MYTH: Compared to other developed nations, the US has relatively low poverty rates.

FACT: The US has the 2nd highest child poverty rate among developed nations (23.1%).

MYTH: Poor people get by on benefits while the rest of us have to work for everything.

FACT: Over 10.5 million Americans are working poor.

MYTH: Poor parents do not value education.

FACT: Poor parents value education the same as wealthier parents.

MYTH: In America, you can still get by living in poverty.

FACT: A family of 4 living in poverty makes only $24,300 annually.

MYTH: Poverty does not have a lasting impact on children.

FACT: Childhood poverty negatively impacts academic achievement and physical/mental well-being.

MYTH: A large portion of my tax dollars supports welfare recipients.

FACT: 10% of the Federal budget supports “safety net programs” – of which 1% supports TANF or “welfare”.


Minimum Wage Facts vs. Myths