How we measure poverty matters — and a proposed change would make it worse

Last year, 621,076 Oklahomans were living in poverty according to official estimates - that's 15.8 percent, or one out of every six, of us. The Trump Administration has recently proposed a plan to adjust the way we measure poverty, but these changes would not make the measure more accurate. [More...]

Women still earn less than men, and it’s putting them at risk of living in poverty

Poverty in Oklahoma is consistently above the national average, but what you may not have noticed is the fact that women are more likely to experience poverty than men. Seventeen percent of women in Oklahoma live below the poverty line, compared to just 14.5 percent of men. In a time when families depend more than ever on women's wages, this is a troubling trend. [More...]

OKPolicyCast 47: Homeless and a friend (with Tyler Parette)

This episode of the OKPolicyCast was hosted and produced by Gene Perry. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre. If you have any questions for the OKPolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people you… Read more [More...]

Restoring the EITC is good for Oklahomans’ health

There is a good chance you know someone struggling to make ends meet. People who struggle to pay for health care have higher risks of heart attacks, obesity, and depression. One way to help Oklahomans meet their basic needs and stay healthy is by restoring an effective and bipartisan anti-poverty measure --the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). [More...]

New economic rankings show Oklahoma falling further behind

There are quite a few reasons to be optimistic about Oklahoma this year. Unemployment is low and the state expects to have a budget surplus this year, the first in quite some time. But despite this good news, too many Oklahomans are still struggling to make ends meet and build a better future for themselves and their families. For the third straight year, Oklahoma has dropped in the Prosperity Now Scorecard rankings. This year, we rank 43rd in the financial health and overall well-being of our residents - that's down from 34th in 2016. [More...]

No family should be punished for accepting help when they need it

The proposed rule change will be available for public comment until December 10. Click here to submit your own public comment. Bad luck or hard times can hit any of us, and when it happens we should all be able… Read more [More...]

Oklahoma Poverty Profile

[Download the 2017 Poverty Profile as a PDF Fact Sheet] 621,076 Oklahomans had incomes below the poverty level in 2017. That’s 15.8 percent of Oklahoma’s population, or about 1 out of every 6 Oklahomans. The poverty rate in Oklahoma continues… Read more [More...]

Will this generation make better priorities to protect the next generation? (Capitol Update)

Steve Lewis served as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1989-1991. He currently practices law in Tulsa and represents clients at the Capitol. I attended an interim study this week requested by Sen. Greg McCortney (R-Ada) and Sen. Kay Floyd… Read more [More...]

Oklahoma poverty numbers are part of a larger picture (Capitol Update)

Steve Lewis served as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1989-1991. He currently practices law in Tulsa and represents clients at the Capitol. There’s an interesting, unsettling piece in a recent update by Oklahoma Policy Institute’s Courtney Cullison. It reviews… Read more [More...]

New Census data shows that Oklahoma fell further behind the U.S. on poverty and uninsured rate for second consecutive year

Oklahoma lags behind the nation in our efforts to help families get ahead. New data from the Census Bureau shows that poverty in Oklahoma is still above the national average. In 2017, nearly 1 in 6 Oklahomans (15.8 percent) were living… Read more [More...]