The Poverty Project

Views on poverty: 1985 and today

We asked 1,202 adult Americans what they think about poverty and government efforts to combat it, as well as some of their attitudes toward the poor. The poll updated one The Times conducted 31 years ago. Explore the data from this project, conducted jointly with the American Enterprise Institute.

The 2016 poll was conducted for the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based research organization, and The Times by Princeton Survey Research Associates from June 20-July 7 by telephone, including landlines and cellphones, in English and Spanish. The poll surveyed 1,202 Americans, aged 18 or older, including 235 whose incomes are below the federal poverty level. The survey has a margin of error of 4 percentage points in either direction for the full sample. Respondents who specified "not sure/don’t know” or “refused” not shown.