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The Impact of a Higher Minimum Wage on Poverty among Same-sex Couples


An increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would lift at least 20,000 people in same-sex couples out of poverty. The study also finds that a minimum wage increase would reduce the poverty rate by 24 percent or more for couples. Poverty rates fall for the most vulnerable people in same-sex couples—particularly women and African Americans—as well as for children in households led by same-sex couples. For example, among all people in same-sex couples, 7 percent of people are African American, but they are 14 percent of the group of people in same-sex couples who would move out of poverty. Similarly, same-sex couples with children make up 20 percent of all couples, but they are 37 percent of families leaving poverty. The study simulates the impact of an increase in the federal minimum wage from the current rate of $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour on the family incomes of same-sex couples and different-sex couples. 

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