Poverty Simulation


In 2021, in the United States there were 37.9 million people living in poverty. The official poverty rate was 11.6%,.2 percentage point more than in 2020, and the median household income was $69,717. For a family of four, consisting of two adults and two children under 18 years, the poverty threshold in 2021 is $27,479. As of July 1, 2022, according to according to State Population Totals and Components of Change: 2020-2022,” the population estimate in New York State was 19,677,151. In New York State, under the Official Poverty Measure (OPM), the percentage of people living in poverty in 2021 was 13.9%.

Poverty in the United States: 2021, Current Population Reports.

The Poverty Simulation is an immersive team building experience that promotes collaboration and provides exposure to decisions that people experiencing poverty make in their daily lives. Corporate law firms and state bar associations throughout the country utilize this simulation experience. The poverty simulation has been offered to judicial and non-judicial staff as well as facilitated in law schools in New York State. The simulation promotes awareness of challenges people experiencing poverty and interacting with the court system grapple with. 

For more information on the Poverty Simulation, email [email protected].


Program Material 

Angus Deaton, The U.S. Can No Longer Hide From Its Deep Poverty Problem, The New York Times, New York, NY, January 24, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/24/opinion/poverty-united-states.html

Premilla Nadasen, Extreme poverty returns to America, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., December 21, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/12/21/extreme-poverty-returns-to-america/?utm_term=.9d9e2f9ae361

Ed Pilkington, A journey through a land of extreme poverty: welcome to America, The Guardian, New York, NY, December 15, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/15/america-extreme-poverty-un-special-rapporteur

Chuck DeVore, Poverty In America By The Numbers, Forbes, Jersey City, NJ, August 22, 2017. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckdevore/2017/08/22/poverty-in-america-by-the-numbers/#71f5b8df69d3

Courtney A. Collins, Ph.D., Poverty Rates, Demographics, and Economic Freedom Across America: A Comparison of Nationwide Poverty Measures, Texas Public Policy Foundation, Austin, Texas, August 2017 . https://www.texaspolicy.com/library/doclib/2017-08-RR-PovertyRatesAmerica-CEF-CourtneyCollins.pdf

Income and Poverty in the United States: 2016, Current Population Reports, Issued September 2017. https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2017/demo/P60-259.pdf

Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015, Current Population Reports, Issued September 2016. http://census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2016/demo/p60-256.pdf.

Thomas B. Edsall. "How Poor Are the Poor?" The New York Times, New York, N.Y. march 25, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/25/opinion/how-poor-are-the-poor.html?_r=0

Roberts, Sam. "One in Five New York City Residents Living in Poverty" The New York Times, New York, N.Y. September, 22, 2011.http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/22/nyregion/one-in-five-new-york-city-residents-living-in-poverty.html

Tavernise, Sabrina. “Soaring Poverty Casts Spotlight on 'Lost Decade'” The New York Times, New York, N.Y. September, 13, 2011.http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/us/14census.html

Roberts, Sam. "Census Shows How Recession Hit N.Y." The New York Times, New York, N.Y. September, 28, 2010.http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/29/nyregion/29census.html

Delancy, Martha and Scott Russell. "Working with Pro Bono Clients." Bench & Bar of Minnesota, M.N. Vol. 62, No. 7, August 2005.


Past Events 

March 2019
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

April 2018
Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

November 2016
Touro Law Center

October 2015:
New York City Civil and Housing Court Judges Training

September 2014
Touro Law Center

February 2013:
Queens County Criminal Court Training

June 2012:
New York County and Richmond County Criminal Court Training

December 2011:
Kings County Criminal Court Training