Poverty

Custard apple trees—a freshwater version of mangroves once ringed Lake Okeechobee’s southern shore in a three-mile-wide belt. Today, barely 100 acres remain.

The Strange Beauty at the Edge of the Everglades

Chronicling the historic struggles of the Florida farming community known as Belle Glade

The remains of an individual buried at the Augustinian friary, pictured during excavations in 2016

New Research

Medieval Britons' Remains Record the 'Skeletal Trauma' Inflicted by Inequality

New study reveals the horrific injuries sustained by lower-class members of English society

Large homes in Maine, Wisconsin and Vermont, like this one, were found to have the largest carbon footprints due to use of heat in cold winters.

Rich Americans’ Homes Have 25% Larger Carbon Footprints Than Low-Income Households

The researchers calculated the carbon emissions of 93 million U.S. homes during the year 2015 and analyzed the results by income and location

Reverend Ralph Abernathy, flanked by associates, stand on steps of a mockup of the lunar module displaying a protest sign while demonstrating at the Apollo 11 launch.

While NASA Was Landing on the Moon, Many African Americans Sought Economic Justice Instead

For those living in poverty, the billions spent on the Apollo program, no matter how inspiring the mission, laid bare the nation's priorities

An image on view at the National Building Museum's Evicted exhibition

This Exhibition Uses $586 to Tell the Story of American Eviction

The amount is around what one of the subjects of sociologist Matthew Desmond’s book 'Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City' made in one month

Scene from the 1967 Detroit riot.

Trending Today

Study Shows Little Change Since Kerner Commission Reported on Racism 50 Years Ago

An update to the landmark study finds there is now more poverty and segregation in America

New research concludes that there are many “Lost Einsteins” in America – children who had the ability to become inventors but didn’t because of where they were born.

Expose Talented Kids From Low-Income Familes To Inventors and They're More Likely To Invent

A new analysis sheds light on how we might better serve America's "Lost Einsteins"

Firemen fight to control blazing buildings in Detroit on July 25, 1967. The city was filled with gunfire, looting and police officers for five days that July.

Understanding Detroit’s 1967 Upheaval 50 Years Later

For five days in July, the Motor City was under siege from looters and soldiers alike

Drinking fountain on the Halifax County Courthouse (North Carolina) in April 1938.

New Research

Racism Harms Children's Health, Survey Finds

Racism may not be a disease, exactly. But a growing body of research finds that it has lasting physical and mental effects on its victims

The "Black Sunday" dust storm was 1,000 miles long and lasted for hours. It blacked out the sky, killed animals, and even blinded a man.

This 1000-Mile Long Storm Showed the Horror of Life in the Dust Bowl

In the American history of extreme weather events, ‘Black Sunday’ sticks out

These washing machines represent dignity for homeless people in Rome.

Cool Finds

This Free Laundromat Has a Famous Sponsor: the Pope

Rome’s homeless people will be able to do their laundry on the Vatican’s dime

Begging has a long, complicated history in England and the U.S. and professional beggars were often seen as people not deserving of aid.

The Myth of Professional Beggars Spawned Today's Enduring Stereotypes

In England and the United States, the fear of beggars gave rise to a number of justifications for why they shouldn't be helped

As part of his survival plan, Watney uses vacuum-packed potatoes to start his own farm on Mars.

Scientists Successfully Grow Potatoes in Mars-Like Soils

Can potatoes grow on the red planet? The International Potato Center is on the case

The first edition of A Christmas Carol. The illustration on the left is of Mr. Fezziwig's ball, one of Scrooge's good memories.

Why Charles Dickens Wrote 'A Christmas Carol'

The beloved story sold 6,000 copies in its first week in print and 15,000 in its first year

Men smoke pipes and drink on the London streets. Booth's police notebooks reveal the everyday habits of Londoners.

Cool Finds

Explore the Seedy Reality of a London Long Gone

Charles Booth explored the poorest parts of England’s capital—and changed the way social scientists think about the world

Martha, a farmworker in California, says a group of white locals often harass her, yelling that immigrants take U.S. jobs. “Why don’t they work in the fields?” she asked.

A Photographic Chronicle of America's Working Poor

<i>Smithsonian</i> journeyed from Maine to California to update a landmark study of American life

An Evaptainer is a lightweight storage unit that uses evaporative cooling to cut down on food spoilage.

The Innovative Spirit fy17

Could This Cooler Help Combat Global Hunger?

The Evaptainer keeps perishable food fresh for up to two weeks–no electricity required

A prototype shelter from The Mobile Factory

The Mobile Factory Turns Earthquake Rubble Into Bricks For Permanent Homes

The Netherlands-based company makes Lego-like blocks from debris using portable equipment that fits in two shipping containers

The low wages in the neighborhoods around Hull House can be seen in these maps, which illustrate income based on household. Each square shows an apartment building, and incomes are shown on the legend below. Black squares earned just $5 a week or less.

Cool Finds

These Early Infographics Illustrated the Plight of America’s Poor

Florence Kelley used hard numbers to effect change

Cauam Cardoso

Technology for the Poor Should Help, Not Hurt: An Interview With MIT's Cauam Cardoso

The PhD candidate is working on ways to systematically evaluate new technologies for the developing world

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