More than 8 million Americans fell into poverty during the final six months of 2020, according to real-time estimates published by economists at the University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame and the Lab for Economic Opportunities.
The US poverty rate declined during the first few months of the pandemic, in large part because of the federal government's stimulus checks. However, the poverty rate climbed 2.4 percentage points during the second half of the year -- nearly double the largest annual increase in poverty since the 1960s, the economists found.
Some groups have suffered more than others. The poverty rate for Black Americans is 5.4 percentage points higher today than in June 2020, translating to 2.4 million people who have fallen into poverty, the economists found.