Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: CAP Action Report: Poverty, Income Inequality in Georgia Remain Unacceptably High
Press Release

RELEASE: CAP Action Report: Poverty, Income Inequality in Georgia Remain Unacceptably High

Washington, D.C. — A new report released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund finds that Georgia is doing worse than most states in several indicators of poverty, including the overall poverty rate, the child poverty rate, health insurance coverage, and income inequality. The report also rank Georgia 50th in the nation for unemployment insurance coverage.

CAP Action’s report outlines several policy recommendations to reduce the poverty rate in Georgia, including raising the minimum wage and expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

In 2013, the national poverty rate remained unacceptably high at 14.5 percent, with some 45.3 million Americans living in poverty. In Georgia, 19 percent of people had incomes below the poverty line—$23,834 annually for a family of four—in 2013, ranking the state 47th in the nation.

“Even though our economy is growing again, far too many families are not seeing any benefits. This is especially true for nearly one in five Georgia residents living in poverty,” said Melissa Boteach, Vice President of Half in Ten at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Through common-sense policies such as raising the minimum wage and expanding Medicaid, Georgia lawmakers have the power to reduce poverty and provide economic security and opportunity to more Georgia workers and their families.”

Of the 15 poverty indicators tracked in the report, Georgia ranked in the bottom half of the country for 13 indicators, including:

  • 50th in the nation for unemployment insurance coverage. Only 16 percent of unemployed workers in Georgia were helped by unemployment insurance in 2013.
  • 48th in the nation for lack of health insurance coverage. More than one in three people younger than age 65 and below 138 percent of the poverty line in Georgia did not have health insurance at any time in 2013.
  • 45th in the nation for income inequality. The share of income going to the top 20 percent of households in Georgia was 17.4 times that going to the bottom 20 percent of households in 2013.
  • 42nd in the nation for child poverty rate. More than one in four children younger than age 18 in Georgia lived below the poverty line in 2013.

Read the report: State of the States Report 2014: Local Momentum for National Change to Cut Poverty and Inequality by Sarah Baron

Read the Georgia fact sheet here

Related resources: Building Local Momentum for National Change: Half in Ten Annual Poverty and Inequality Indicators Report by Melissa Boteach, Shawn Fremstad, Erik Stegman, Sarah Baron, and Rebecca Vallas

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Chelsea Kiene at ckiene@americanprogressaction.org or 202.478.5328.

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