Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2001


The Commonwealth’s economic growth over the past decade has led to more jobs and an increasing median income, but the rising tide has not lifted the boats at the bottom. The bottom 20 percent of the Commonwealth’s families with children have not found relief. Growth in earnings has been almost completely offset by the loss of public support, which in turn has strained the private sector’s emergency support system. Poverty rates for families have dropped only slightly, child poverty rates and the percentage of families who are very poor have increased, and the need for emergency housing and food services has grown. Safety nets for the poor have unraveled.


Published in MassBenchmarks, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 12-17:


University of Massachusetts



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