Since social scientists and economists began measuring poverty, the definition has never strayed far from a discussion of income. New research from Georgia Tech economist Shatakshee Dhongde shows there are multiple components of poverty that more accurately describes a household’s economic condition. Dhongde looks at “deprivation” more than simply low income, and her work finds that almost 15 percent of Americans are deprived in multiple dimensions.
“Lack of education, severe housing burden and lack of health insurance were some of the dimensions in which Americans were most deprived in,” Dhongde said. “Even though deprivation did increase during the recession, it began to improve between 2010 and 2013.”