WCPC News Archive

NEWS: 20 years after welfare reform, 'deep poverty' worse in Washington

WCPC center director, Jennie Romich, speaks with KUOW about what 20 years of welfare reform has meant for Washington families. While there are less poor families currently on welfare than there were 20 years ago, the number of families living in deep poverty in Washington state has gone up dramatically. Romich states, "If the concern is the financial well-being of poor families, it has not been a success. Read the article HERE.

New Research


Research by former WCPC Social Policy Research Fellow highlighted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development

Maria RodriguezResearch by former WCPC Social Policy Research Fellow Maria Rodriguez, a UW doctoral candidate, was recently featured in the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Region 10 newsletter, HUDlines. Rodriguez's work, as part of the recently-released Washington State Foreclosure Mapping Report, examines the 2008-2013 foreclosure crisis zip code by zip code in Washington State. Read about it here.

Long Research Highlighted in U.S. News and World Report

Research by WCPC Affiliate Mark Long, and Evans School PhD student Alec Kennedy was highlighted in a U.S. News and World Report piece, “Location, location, location: Are top universities too far away from low-income high school graduates?” Read about it here.


Harris Discusses Context of Racial Disparities on KING 5

HarrisWCPC Affiliate Alexes Harris appeared on KING 5 to provide context around racial disparities in the criminal justices system and the protests following the grand jury decisions not to indict police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Watch the interview here.

Poverty and Income Inequality Increase in Washington State

After holding steady for two years, new data from the US Census Bureau show that the poverty rate in Washington state rose from 13.5% to 14.1% between 2012 and 2013. The number of Washingtonians living in poverty also rose during that period, from 915,278 people to 967,282.

Most states saw no change in their poverty rates or numbers, but New Jersey and New Mexico joined Washington as the three states with increases in both poverty rates and the number of poor people.

The new data also show that median income in Washington ($58,405) was unchanged from the year before, although a measure of income inequality in the state increased.

"This increase in the poverty rate alongside higher income inequality shows that the economic recovery has not reached many low-income Washingtonians," said Jennifer Romich, WCPC director and associate professor of social work. "The poverty rate is an indicator of how well the most vulnerable do in our economy. The overall national picture suggests that economic growth is failing to reach everyone," Romich said. Read the full WCPC press release about the new income and poverty data here.

U.S. Poverty Rate drops slightly between 2012 and 2013

According to a new U.S. Census Bureau report, the poverty rate has dropped for the first time since 2006. The overall poverty rate for 2013 was 14.5 percent, slightly lower than the 15 percent poverty estimate for 2012. Although the poverty rate has declined, it is still 2 percentage points higher than the poverty rate in the year before the Great Recession. The number of Americans estimated to be poor held steady between 2012 and 2013 at 45.3 million. Read the full report here.