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Many See Those in 'Poverty' As Not So Poor

Friday, August 19, 2011

A recent survey based on several government studies finds that many of those the federal government says are living in poverty have a decent place to live, adequate food on the table and two color TVs, among other amenities, and most Americans don't regard that as being poor. 

Sixty-three percent (63%) of American Adults think a family that is adequately fed and living in a house or apartment that is in good repair is not in poverty. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only nine percent (9%) disagree, with 27% more who are not sure.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Similarly, 51% believe a family that has two color TVs, a VCR and a DVD player is not living in poverty. Sixteen percent (16%) say a family like that is poor. Thirty-three percent (33%) are undecided.

Still, 73% of Americans believe poverty in the United States today is at least somewhat severe.  Twenty-three percent (23%) don’t think poverty in America is severe.  These figures include 31% who say it’s Very Severe and three percent (3%) who believe it’s Not At All Severe.

These findings show little change from surveys dating back to July 2007.

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The national survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on August 16-17, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC . See methodology.


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