The Rise of Extreme Poverty in the United States

The number of adults on welfare has dropped dramatically since its reform in 1996. As of 2011, a little over 1 million adults remained on the welfare rolls in a typical month, down from about 4.6 million at the program's peak in the early 1990s. As these numbers plummeted, the number of single mothers joining the workforce or returning to it grew at rates that were largely unexpected. For these reasons, welfare reform has been touted as a success.