Government-Funded Research Centers

The Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP)


IRP is a center for interdisciplinary research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison created by the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity in 1966 to study of "the nature, causes, and cures of poverty." It is currently one of three Area Poverty Research Centers sponsored by ASPE, focusing in particular on poverty and family welfare in the Midwest.

Joint Center for Poverty Research (JCPR)

With offices at both Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, the Joint Center for Poverty Research supports academic research that examines what it means to be poor and live in America. JCPR concentrates on the causes and consequences of poverty in America and the effectiveness of policies aimed at reducing poverty. Its goal is to advance what is known about the economic, social and behavioral factors that cause poverty, and to establish the actual effects of interventions designed to alleviate poverty.

The National Poverty Center (NPC)

The National Poverty Center (NPC) was established in the fall of 2002 as a university-based, nonpartisan research center. It conducts and promotes multidisciplinary, policy-relevant research on the causes and consequences of poverty and provides mentoring and training to young scholars. The Center is located within the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan.

West Coast Poverty Center (WCPC)

The West Coast Poverty Center at the University of Washington serves as a hub for research, education, and policy analysis leading to greater understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and effective approaches to reducing it in the west coast states. Funded in October of 2005, the Center is the newest of three regional poverty centers funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. A collaborative venture of the UW School of Social Work, the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, and the College of Arts and Sciences, the West Coast Poverty Center creates new opportunities for cross-disciplinary exchanges and collaboration among poverty researchers and fosters a network of poverty scholars in the west coast region.

The Rural Poverty Research Center (RPRC)

The RPRC was founded in 2002 with the awarding of a three-year grant from the US Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning & Evaluation (ASPE). Housed jointly at the University of Missouri-Columbia and Oregon State University, RPRC is part of the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI). The mission of RPCR is to examine both the causes and consequences of poverty in rural areas and the factors affecting the success of policies to improve the self-sufficiency and well-being of low income workers and families in rural America.

The University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research (UKCPR)

The UKCPR was established in October 2002 as one of three federally designated Area Poverty Research Centers with core funding from ASPE. The UKCPR is a nonprofit and nonpartisan academic research center housed in the Department of Economics at the University of Kentucky. The Center’s research mission is to approach to the causes, consequences, and correlates of poverty and inequality in the southern United States with a multidisciplinary perspective.

The Rural Poverty Research Institute (RUPRI)

RUPRI conducts policy-relevant research to assist policy makers and citizens in understanding the unique rural impacts of public policies and programs. RUPRI is a publicly grant-funded research institute. Major support comes from the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Additional support comes from the founding member institutions - Iowa State University, the University of Missouri System and the University of Nebraska Central Administration.

Economic Research Center, United States Department of Agriculture (ERC)

This site provides excellent snap shots of life in rural America in briefing papers under the following topics:

  • High-poverty counties
  • Rural income
  • Rural poverty
  • Rural child poverty
  • Rural welfare
  • Nonfarm earnings

Another map site maintained by the ERS entitled, “enhanced quality of life for rural Americans: rural gallery”.

Center for Poverty Research, University of California, Davis

The Center for Poverty Research at UC Davis is one of three federally designated centers whose mission is to facilitate non-partisan academic research on poverty in the U.S., disseminate this research, and train the next generation of poverty scholars.  Our research agenda includes four themed areas of focus: labor markets and poverty, children and intergenerational transmission of poverty, the non-traditional safety net, and immigration.