Mitra, S. and D. Brucker. (2016). Income Poverty and Multiple Deprivations in a High-Income Country: The Case of the United States. Social Science Quarterly. DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12291

On the international stage, poverty is increasingly understood broadly as a deprivation of wellbeing across multiple dimensions rather than purely as a lack of income or other financial resources. This paper develops a measure of the joint distribution of multiple deprivations in the United States, in other words a measure of the extent to which different deprivations are experienced by the same individuals. Using Current Population Survey and American Community Survey data, we find that the experience of multiple deprivations affects 15 percent of Americans. We also find that income poverty is not a reliable proxy to measure multiple deprivations: 5.5% of the population, an estimated 17.1 million Americans, experiences multiple deprivations while they are not income poor. The odds of experiencing multiple deprivations are significantly higher for Hispanics, immigrants and persons with disabilities. Further measurement efforts are needed on overlapping multiple deprivations in the U.S. as such measures can be used in policy evaluation and monitoring.