A single person needs to make $26,700 (250% of FPL); 2 adults $37,380 (250%of FPL) and a family with 2 children needs to make $53,400 (250% of FPL). We define severe poverty as earning less than $18,000, moderate poverty as less than $40,000 and a serious risk of poverty as having income less than $55,000.
The total estimated % of people in poverty or at risk of poverty in Newburyport has remained the same at 44%. However, approximately 670 families, the numbers in the 3 categories, (severe, moderate and at risk) have shifted downward indicating that more and more people in Newburyport are going down the economic ladder.
The at risk population, based on the federal poverty level, has increased from 14.3% to 18% indicating that 4% of the middle class has moved to the at risk category. The middle class as seen elsewhere in the country is losing ground and families who were getting by are now at risk. This group is at serious risk of poverty if they do not have assets to fall back on. These families that could fall into or further into poverty due to a medical crisis, a car breaking down, unexpected house repairs, getting laid off etc. One unexpected financial necessity is the domino that falls and triggers a series of events that lead to poverty.
The moderate poverty population category has gone down from 5.2% to 4% moving down the economic ladder.
The severe poverty category has slightly more than doubled to in the past year increasing from 2.6% to 5%. This is very concerning.
In addition we are seeing economic indicators that the situation is likely to get worse.