In 1964 the War on Poverty began with the passage of President Lyndon Johnson’s Economic Opportunity Act. This was the start of many anti-poverty programs that provided access to health care, nutritional assistance and educational support that continue today.
The Center for Poverty Research War on Poverty Conference, held on January 9-10, 2014 at UC Davis, hosted top poverty scholars who look closely at the War on Poverty, including its legacy 50 years later.
In these pages we have gathered conference presentations with additional work related to the War on Poverty including:
Audio recordings of conference presentations and slides
New research studies and policy briefs on safety net programs
Facts and figures, as well as links to outside sources, that provide a clearer picture of the U.S. safety net
New articles that explore different aspects of poverty
Central to our mission is the dissemination of poverty research. We hope you will consider these pages a useful, ongoing resource.
The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 included the Job Corps, the college Work-Study Program and Head Start, but the following two year period also saw the creation of cornerstone programs such as Food Stamps, Medicare/Medicaid, HUD and others that today remain integral parts of the U.S. safety net.
The War on Poverty launched two major health and nutrition safety net programs. The Food Stamps program (today known as SNAP) was established in 1964. A year later, Medicare and Medicaid were established as amendments to the Social Security Act. These are only two programs designed to combat the impact poverty has on health.
Research has found that education increases the chances of leaving poverty. Today’s school poverty programs still include Head Start, which was an original part of the 1964 Economic Opportunity Act. They also include school lunches, Federal Pell Grants and other programs intended to increase access to education.