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Poverty and poverty reduction among non-elderly, nondisabled, childless adults in affluent countries: The United States in cross-national perspective
Brookings
2024.04.22
The analysis assesses poverty and poverty reduction in the U.S. compared to six other high-income countries―Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom―that reduce poverty more than the U.S. does and/or achieve lower post-tax-post-transfer poverty rates for non-elderly, nondisabled, childless adults.
Compared to these countries, the U.S. is notable for its large share of low-wage workers, the extent to which income taxes and social contributions push childless adults into poverty, and the meagerness of income transfers for this focal group.
The U.S. could mitigate poverty among this population by increasing the minimum wage at the federal/state/local levels, expanding the share of the workforce covered by collective agreements, adopting any number of tax-related reforms, and providing more-extensive income transfers.