Myths And Facts About Low-Income Working Families
Myth: Low-income families do not work.
Fact: Seventy-one percent of low-income families work.
Myth: Low-income working families do not work hard.
Fact: The average annual work effort for low-income working families is 2,500 hours, equal to 1.2 full-time jobs.
Myth: Low-income working families are headed by single parents.
Fact: Fifty-one percent of low-income working families are headed by a married couple.
Myth: Low income-working families are headed by immigrants.
Fact: Seventy-two percent of low-income working families have American-born parents only.
Myth: Low-income working families have very young parents.
Fact: Eighty-eight percent of low-income working families have a parent between 25 and 54 years old.
Myth: Low-income working families are overwhelmingly minority.
Fact: Forty-seven percent of low-income working families have white, non-Hispanic parents only; 28 percent have an Hispanic parent, and 20 percent have an Africa-American parent.
Fact: 9.2 million working families in America are low-income.
Fact: Twenty million children live in low-income families.
Fact: The percentage of American families in poverty has not changed in three decades.
Fact: The percentage of working families that are low-income varies significantly among the states, from 15 percent in two states to more than 35 percent in seven states.
Fact: Twenty percent of American jobs pay less than $8.84 an hour, a poverty-level wage for a family of four.
Fact: A full-time job at the federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour cannot keep a family of three out of poverty.
Source: American Community Survey 2002
U.S. Census Bureau