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Working families in Oregon:

Facts and Figures to Learn From

In 2009, researchers at the Urban Institute provided a descriptive picture of life for America’s working families living in or near poverty.

Some of the key findings from the report include:

  • Almost 50% of low-income families had at least one parent working full time, all year;
  • 70% of single parents participated in the workforce, and 40% participatde full-time;
  • Single-parent families were 3x more likely to have low incomes compared to married-couple families;
  • Low-income families were more likely to have at least one member in fair or poor health; and,
  • Around 73% of low-income household heads have at least a high school education and 35% have education beyond high school.

This information helps researchers studying children and families to know the nature of work and poverty. So, what’s the catch? At present, these data are almost 15 years old. Work and family life has likely changed since the Great Recession. They are also limited because they rely on The Census Bureau’s Official Poverty Measure. Last, they tell a national story. We want to know the extent to which these national patterns compare to the reality of Oregon families.

To address this gap, we have started a new project to create a report Oregon Families Facts & Figures. Our report will be modeled after fact sheet from the Urban institute with a few new dimensions. For example, we will measure poverty with the Supplemental Poverty Measure, introduce new data visualizations, make the syntax open source and reproducible, and tailor policy implications to the Oregon context. Stay tuned. As always, feedback and comments are invited.

References: Stanczyk, A. (2009). Low-income working families: Updated facts and Figures. The Urban Institute.

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