Poverty And Inequality In Massachusetts Today

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Back in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty. We've had 50 years to tackle the problem, yet the challenge for millions of American families remains as intractable as it ever was.

We got a reminder of that here in Massachusetts just today. A new report from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center finds that the poverty rate in this state is at its highest rate since the 1960's, back when that war on poverty was first launched. And the gap between the richest and poorest is wider in Massachusetts than in the nation as a whole.


Noah Berger, executive director of Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center


Boston Globe, Poverty Rate In Mass. Highest Since 1960

  • A report out Monday by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center details the plight of the poor since President Johnson declared a war on poverty 50 years ago. The report’s findings will be at the center of a symposium held Monday in Boston to take stock of Johnson’s “Great Society” initiatives and to unite social service agencies, government officials, academic researchers, and others to set a new agenda for addressing poverty.

Mass. Budget and Policy Center, From Poverty To Opportunity: The Challenge Of Building A Great Society

  • Massachusetts is one of the wealthiest states in the nation,  and overall income has grown substantially over the past several decades. But the overall average masks that this wealth and prosperity has primarily raised the incomes of our highest income families, and done very little to improve the lot of middle and lower income families.

This segment aired on November 10, 2014.


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