Living Arrangements and Poverty during the Transition to Adulthood

Sheela Kennedy, University of Minnesota
Christopher T. Wimer, Stanford University

This paper examines poverty rates during the transition to adulthood. Using an alternative poverty measure developed by the National Academy of Sciences, we demonstrate the importance of improved measurement of cost of living, social benefit receipt, individual economic resources, and family structure for understanding life-course variation in economic well-being. In addition, we examine variation in young adult poverty by family and living arrangements in order to identify the most vulnerable groups of young adults. We find that the poverty rates of young men and women who are not single mothers are underestimated using the traditional poverty measure. In contrast, the NAS measure reduces the estimated poverty rate of single parents.

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Presented in Session 76: Poverty Measurement: Households and the Lifecourse