The center works to identify and define the issues facing Texas' large low-income population. Whether it's documenting the actual amount of money it takes to support families' basic needs in every metropolitan area in Texas, or chronicling the real compromises working families make in order to survive, the center provides the data and the stories behind low- and moderate-income Texans.

Recent Family Economic Security Publications

OpportunityTexas: Learn. Earn. Save. (12/9/2010)

Texas faces numerous challenges but also has abundant opportunities to build the middle class and increase prosperity. Unfortunately, too many Texans are on the sideline, lacking access to opportunities to learn, earn, and save to secure a more prosperous future for themselves and their families.

To create jobs, increase income, and promote savings, Texas must develop and expand programs and policies to ensure greater prosperity for all Texans.

Metro-Area Census Data Show More Poor and Uninsured in Texas (09/28/2010)

The 2009 American Community Survey (ACS) data released by the U.S. Census Bureau show more Texans are below the poverty line and lack health insurance compared to 2008. Most of Texas’ metro area rates exceed the U.S. average. Texas again had the nation’s highest statewide uninsured rate, and some localities far exceeded the statewide rate. Texas entered the recession later than the rest of the nation and experienced low rates of unemployment through most of 2008. These new data for 2009 reflect the full impact of the recession on Texas.

Uninsured, Poverty on the Rise in Texas in 2009 (09/16/2010)

The year 2009 definitively shows Texas has the most to gain from the health reform law, as Texas remained the state with the highest uninsured rate in the nation at 26.1 percent, or 6.4 million uninsured people, new Census Bureau data show.

The Bureau also released preliminary state-level data showing that poverty rose substantially in Texas, with 428,000 new Texans joining the ranks of the poor from 2008 to 2009; the state's poverty rate rose to 17.3 percent from 15.9 percent.

A Cut to Child Support Funding Would Jeopardize Successful Employment Programs for Noncustodial Parents (09/13/2010)

As the U.S. Congress returns to work today from their Labor Day recess, members must take action on Senate Bill (SB) 1859 to further their commitment to strengthening American families.

How Health Reform Will Help Our Economy (02/25/2010)

Passing health reform isn’t just the right thing to do because it will cover many of the uninsured; it will also create tremendous economic benefits for Texas families and small businesses. Health reform makes health insurance coverage more secure, 1) reducing bankruptcies caused by medical bills, 2) allowing entrepreneurs to start new ventures without fear that leaving a current job will mean losing health coverage, and 3) letting small firms operate without providing health benefits while ensuring that their employees still have access to high-quality affordable coverage. Health reform also slows the growth in health care costs, 1) reducing the federal deficit, 2) shoring up Medicare, and 3) allowing employers to increase wages, hire new employees or make other investments in their business with money that would otherwise be eaten up by skyrocketing health insurance premiums. This Policy Page examines the many economic benefits of health reform. For an overview of provisions in the Senate health reform bill, see at the recent CPPP publication What’s in the Health Reform Bills?

Hard Times for Food Hardship in U.S., Texas (02/1/2010)

Nearly one in five Texans struggle to afford food, according to a report released last week by the Food Research and Action Center. The Lone Star State is among 20 states with food hardship rates of 20 percent or higher in 2008-2009. Food hardship among families with children was even more pronounced, with 27.2 percent of Texas families reporting difficulty affording food. The study calls for job creation measures and increased investment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) and other federal nutrition programs that help families afford food during tough economic times. To rise to this challenge, Texas needs to fix the problems in its SNAP eligibility system, where staffing shortages are preventing hundreds of thousands of needy Texans from accessing food assistance. Congress can help America’s struggling families by extending the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ARRA) additional unemployment benefits.

New Analysis Anticipates Child Poverty Increase (01/7/2010)

More than one of every five Texas children, or nearly 1.5 million kids, lived in poverty during 2008"and when data from 2009 are compiled, that number is likely to increase to one of every four kids, according to a new analysis released Wednesday by First Focus and Brookings researcher Julia Isaacs. The increase in poor children is placing an even heavier burden on an already strained network of private charities and state agencies already reeling from the triple punch of inadequate funding, staffing shortages, and a broken eligibility system that withholds critical assistance to needy families.

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