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NBC News - October 16, 2020

The number of Americans living in poverty grew by 8 million since May, according to a Columbia University study, which found an increase in poverty rates after early coronavirus relief ended without more to follow.

Although the federal Cares Act, which gave Americans a one-time stimulus check of $1,200 and unemployed workers an extra $600 each week, was successful at offsetting growing poverty rates in the spring, the effects were short-lived, researchers found in the study published Thursday.

After aid diminished toward the end of summer, poverty rates, especially those among minorities and children, rebounded, they said.

“The Cares Act, despite its flaws, was broadly successful in preventing large increases in poverty," said Zach Parolin, a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University and one of the study’s authors.

The federal stimulus saved about 18 million Americans from poverty in April, he said, but as of September, that number is down to 4 million.

A family of four earning $26,200 a year or less is considered living below the poverty line, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The total number of people in the U.S. living in poverty is 55 million, including the 8 million who joined their ranks since May, according to the Columbia researchers. ...
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