Poor Measures

A study chronicles poverty's rise

Practically since Inauguration Day, the Reagan Administration has grumbled that the Government's statistical methods overstate the nation's population of poor people. The reason: the figures take into account only cash income and ignore the value of noncash benefits such as food stamps, free or discounted school lunches, public housing and subsidized medical care. But a new Census Bureau study released last week measured poverty both ways from 1979 to 1982 and found a sharp increase under either method.

A family of four was considered poor in 1979 if it had a cash income of $7,386 or less; by...

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