AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation released two papers about poverty, one detailing the chronic failure of the Official Poverty Measure to accurately assess poverty, the other examining links between higher economic freedom and lower poverty rates.
“Poverty in America defies simple explanation,” said Chuck DeVore vice president of National Initiatives at Texas Public Policy Foundation. “The government’s Official Poverty Measure is deeply flawed as it doesn’t account for the fact that the cost of living in states such as California and New York is considerably higher than in Texas and other states. Taking a detailed look at a fairly new, more comprehensive measure of poverty from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Supplemental Poverty Measure, displays very different patterns of poverty and contributes to a better understanding of poverty—and understanding a challenge correctly is the first step to addressing it properly.”
DeVore notes that under the Supplemental Poverty Measure, California has the nation’s highest poverty rate while poverty in Texas is lower than the national average.
Dr. Courtney Collins, an assistant professor at Rhodes College who authored one of the papers offered the following.
“This research report provides preliminary evidence that the adoption of state policies that promote economic freedom could significantly and positively affect the poverty level in that state,” said Collins. “It also shows that it is reasonable for empirical policy studies examining poverty rates to include SPM measures and to incorporate demographic differences across states.”
Read the full papers here:
Re-examining Poverty by Chuck DeVore
Poverty Rates, Demographics, and Economic Freedom Across America
For more information or to request an interview with Mr. DeVore, please contact Alicia Pierce at [email protected] or 512-472-2700.
The Honorable Chuck DeVore is vice president of National Initiatives at Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin. The Texas Public Policy Foundation aims to advance a societal framework that effectively fosters human flourishing based upon cooperation and mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and speech.