The Women in Poverty Epidemic, Visualized

Released last week, the United States Census Bureau’s latest data on household income left no doubt that more and more American women are sinking into poverty.

According to a National Women’s Law Center analysis of the census data, the poverty rate for women grew from 13.9 percent in 2009 to 14.5 percent in 2010. It’s even higher for women of color: One in 4 black and Latina women lived in poverty in 2010.

Compounding the poverty problem is a lack of health-care coverage. NWLC reported that almost 1 in 5 women under 65 years old does not have health insurance—the highest proportion of uninsured women in more than a decade. NWLC Vice President of Health and Reproductive Rights Judy Waxman commented:

These grim numbers underscore how critical it is for all women and their families to have access to meaningful and affordable health care, regardless of where or whether they work. Congress should not consider any cuts to Medicaid.

To top it off, the mainstream media coverage of the Census numbers neglected how poverty was affecting women, according to Leslie Bennetts’ article in The Daily Beast.

The Ms. infographic below breaks down a few of the starkest statistics. Click to view PDF:

Graphic art and infographic by Sarah Richardson. All rights reserved. For reprint permission please contact Sarah at


  1. constance kosuda says:

    If the ERA had happened, we would be in a better position – as an attorney in an all-male field (Workers Compensation) for 20 years, it is and was appalling to see the rampant sexism present in the legal profession – in the courts, in the law firms, in the judge’s chambers – throughout – there is “no glass ceiling” was the cry of men – oh really? and how come most firms to this day have NO female partners (even when the females are the stars of the firm, if they are not the son of the boss, or married to his daughter , for examples) – how come men in charge can promise partnerships, and then, when it is time to deliver, smugly announce “you have resigned.” true sexism, oftentimes coupled with overt racism, always coupled with elitism (they are all rich – ) and bigotry of one sort or another.

    remember the lawyer Phyllis Shafly – telling women to stay at home and be “housewives” while she goes prancing around the country lecturing???? pardon me, that is a true whore.

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