About the Project
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 46 million Americans live below the poverty line, that’s the highest number since they started publishing poverty figures more than five decades ago. And some economists and experts predict that number is rising. I traveled in the summer of 2011 with award-winning Danish photographer Joakim Eskildsen on an assignment for TIME Magazine to California, South Dakota, Louisiana and New York to document the lives of the people behind the statistics. We collected hundreds of photos and personal stories of people struggling to make ends meet–the unemployed, the homeless, the working poor. The overwhelming response from Joakim’s photo essay on TIME.com prompted us to expand the scope of the work by producing a book and our own multimedia website, including more photos, stories and the voices of people we interviewed.
The photographic content and field reporting was originally done for TIME Magazine and TIME.com. Special thanks to TIME director of photography Kira Pollack and the TIME photo department.