Multi-Dimensional Deprivation in the U.S.

Title: Multi-Dimensional Deprivation in the U.S.
Format: Journal Article
Publication Date: 2016

This paper presents a comprehensive analysis of multidimensional deprivation in the U.S. since the Great Recession, from 2008 to 2013. We estimate a Multidimensional Deprivation Index by compiling individual data on multiple well-being dimensions from the American Community Survey. Our results indicate that the proportion of the population that is multidimensional deprived averages about 15 percent, which exceeds the prevalence of official income poverty. Lack of education, severe housing burden and lack of health insurance were some of the dimensions in which Americans were most deprived in. Overall, the prevalence of deprivation was higher in the southern and the western states and among the Asian and the Hispanic population. Importantly, almost 30 % of individuals with incomes slightly above the poverty threshold experienced multiple deprivations. Our analysis underscores the need to look beyond income based poverty statistics in order to fully realize the impact of the recession on individuals’ well-being.

External Contributors: Robert Haveman

Dhongde S. and Haveman R. “Multi-dimensional Deprivation in the U.S.”, Social Indicators Research (2016), pp. 1-37, doi: 10.1007/s11205-016-1379-1

  • Economic Development
  • U.S. Society and Politics/Policy Perspectives
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  • School of Economics