Latest US poverty statistics: U-M experts can comment

September 5, 2019
Contact: Jared Wadley,
Lauren Slagter

Child poverty symbolized by old broken shoes. Image credit: iStock


University of Michigan experts are available to discuss the latest findings when the U.S. Census Bureau releases its 2018 poverty and income statistics Tuesday, Sept. 10.

All of them are part of U-M’s Poverty Solutions, an initiative that aims to prevent and alleviate poverty through action-based research that informs policymakers, community organizations, government entities and practitioners about what works in confronting poverty.


William Elliott III

William Elliott III

William Elliott III, professor of social work, can discuss wealth inequality. A leading researcher in college savings accounts and college debt, Elliott also is focused on public policies related to issues of economic inequality and social development. His research has served as the impetus for Children’s Savings Account programs and policies across the United States.

Contact: 734-764-9340,



David Johnson

David Johnson

David Johnson, director of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and research professor at the Institute for Social Research, can discuss the measurement of poverty and inequality. He has served for eight years as the senior executive at the Census Bureau overseeing the official poverty estimates and the development of the supplemental poverty measure.

Contact: 734-647-4076,


Kristin S. Seefeldt

Kristin Seefeldt

Kristin Seefeldt, associate professor of social work and public policy, explores how economic and policy changes affect the everyday lives of economically vulnerable families. She conducts research on family financial coping strategies, particularly the use of debt as a way to make ends meet.

Contact: 734-615-2113,



Luke Shaefer

H. Luke Shaefer

H. Luke Shaefer, director of Poverty Solutions at U-M and associate professor of social work and public policy, can discuss the measurement of poverty and alternative metrics for measuring hardship. He has published articles on rising extreme poverty in the United States, the effects of major anti-poverty programs and low-wage work.

Contact: 734-936-5065,



Trina R. Shanks

Trina R. Shanks

Trina Shanks, associate professor of social work and faculty associate at the Institute for Social Research, has conducted research on the impact of poverty and wealth on child well-being; asset-building policy and practice across the life cycle; and community
and economic development.

Contact: 734-764-7411,


More U-M poverty experts