Washington, D.C. — A new report released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund ranks Virginia 30th in the nation for health insurance coverage among low-income people, with more than one and four low-income people lacking health insurance coverage in the state. The report also ranks Virginia in the bottom half of the nation for income inequality, affordable and available housing, and unemployment insurance coverage.
CAP Action’s report outlines several policy recommendations to reduce poverty in Virginia, 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. Virginia’s overall poverty rate was slightly lower, with 11.7 percent of people living with incomes below the poverty line—$23,834 annually for a family of four—in 2013, ranking the state ninth in the nation.
“Even though our economy is growing again, far too many families are not seeing any benefits. This is especially true for Virginians 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, Virginia lawmakers have the power to reduce poverty and provide economic security and opportunity to more Virginia workers and their families.”
Among the 15 poverty indicators tracked in the report, Virginia scored well in several indicators—including the second-lowest ranking for hunger and food insecurity and the lowest number of children living apart from parents in the nation. However, Virginia scored in the bottom half of the country for the following:
- 45th in the nation for unemployment insurance coverage. Less than one in five unemployed workers in Virginia were helped by unemployment insurance in 2013.
- 38th in the nation for affordable and available housing. In 2013, Virginia had 57 apartments or other units that were affordable and available for every 100 renter households with very low income.
- 32nd in the nation for income inequality. The share of income going to the top 20 percent of households in Virginia was 15.4 times that going to the bottom 20 percent of households 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 Virginia 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 email@example.com or 202.478.5328.