Skip to main content
NORC has studied both the causes and perceptions of poverty and inequality since our founding.

By some estimates, the top one percent of Americans earn 20 percent of the income. Wealth inequality is even more dramatic, with a mere 0.1 percent of the population controlling more than 20 percent of the wealth. At the same time, more than 45 million Americans live in poverty, according to recent Census data. This level of inequality has implications for social and economic mobility, professional and educational attainment, and food and housing security, as well as the entrepreneurship and innovation that drive our economy.

NORC is one of the nation’s leading sources of reliable, independent data on poverty and inequality in this country and around the world. One of NORC’s very first studies was a survey of public perceptions about race, economic status, and poverty. Since then, NORC researchers have explored the world of low-wage work, examined the economic impact of early childhood care and development, and studied a variety of social safety net and economic development programs both in the United States and abroad.

Get in Touch

Have a project in mind? Fill out our quick start form to get a quote. 


Departments, Centers, & Programs

Research Divisions

Poverty & Inequality Experts

Highlighted Projects

The Concordance Academy Evaluation

An experiment to test the effectiveness of a novel prisoner reentry program in St. Louis, Missouri


The Concordance Academy

Making Connections Research Scholars

Providing analytical opportunities for early-career scholars and researchers of color


The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Chicago Health and Activity in Real-Time (CHART)

The first-ever study documenting how activity spaces change as people age


The National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health

Oakland Promise Brilliant Baby Evaluation

Assessing the impact of a “two-generation” intervention on college attainment


Oakland Promise

‘Closer to Home’ and ‘A Path to Equity’

Exploring the impact of more equitable access to pre-k on student outcomes


Institute of Education Sciences