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Lorenz Curve

a geometric representation of the share distribution of income among families in a given country at a given time

Gini Ratio

a measure of income inequality. As it gets closer to zero, the more unequally the income is distributed

Poverty Rate

The percentage of the population whose family income falls below an absolute level called the poverty line

Income Mobility

movement of individuals or households from one income quintile to another over time

Social Insurance Programs

A program meant to prevent poverty; Social Security, unemployment insurance, and Medicare

Social Security

A contribution based program designed to support retirement for people over age 65. Offical name was Old Age Survivors Disability and Health Insurance Act.

Unemployment Compensation

A state government transfer program that pays cash benefits for a certain period of time to laid-off workers who have worked for a specified period of time for a covered employer.

Supplemental Security Income

SSI, A program of income support for low-income aged, blind, and disabled persons established by Title XVI of the Social Security Act.


Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. A 1996 national act that abolished the longtime welfare policy, AFDC (Aid for Families with Dependent Children) TANF gives the states much more control over welfare policy

Food Stamp Program

A department of Agriculture funded program that gives coupons to low-income people based on income and family size, that can be used to purchase only food and fiber.

Public Assistance Programs

Distributes public money to poor people: food stamps, medicaid, (Aid to Families with Dependent Children), Supplemental Security Income, and Job Opportunities & Basic Skills programs

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