Statement on the 1984 Census Bureau Report on the Poverty Rate

August 27, 1985

The Census Bureau has just released news for which every American can be thankful. Some 1.8 million Americans escaped from poverty last year, the largest single drop since 1968. Four hundred thousand black Americans moved up and out of poverty, as did more than half a million children. The poverty rate among the elderly in the United States is lower than it has ever been in American history. I believe these numbers are further proof that the greatest enemy of poverty is the free enterprise system.

The success of 1984 does not mean that the battle against poverty in this country is over; it does mean that America -- after a difficult decade -- is once again headed in the right direction.