Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson gave his 1964 State of the Union Speech, in which he launched the ‘war on poverty.’ Within four years of that speech, the Johnson administration enacted a broad ran of programs, including the the Job Corps, Upward Bound, Head Start, the Neighborhood Youth Corps, the Social Security amendments creating Medicare/Medicaid, the creation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and over a dozen others.
Here are a few numbers related to governmental efforts to eradicate poverty in America:
33 million — Number of Americans who were living in poverty when the ‘war on poverty’ was declared in 1964.
46.5 million — Number of Americans who are living in poverty today.
19% — Poverty rate in 1964.
15% — Poverty rate in 2013.
126 — Current number of different federal programs aimed at fighting poverty
$15,000,000,000,000 — Total local, state, and federal spending on welfare programs since the beginning of the ‘war on poverty.’
$1,000,000,000,000 —Amount the U.S. spends annually on welfare programs.
$20,610 — Annual amount spent for every poor person in America ($61,830 per poor family of three).
25% – Poverty rate among single-dads.
31% — Poverty rate among single moms.
6% — Poverty rate among married couples.
0.001% — Poverty rate among married couples who both have full-time jobs.