Trade News: Growing Poverty in the U.S.- Over 46 Million People – 15% of Population

From U.S. Census: Special Tabulation Based on Supplemental Poverty Measure. The New York Times commissioned the Census Bureau to create a special tabulation based on the measure, and as a service to other users we are posting this tabulation online. These statistics focus on the characteristics of the population just above the poverty line (100 to 150 percent of the poverty threshold). The supplemental poverty measure does not replace the official poverty measure but is intended to better reflect contemporary social and economic realities and government policy effects and thus provide a further understanding of economic conditions and trends. The official poverty report findings include:

  • The nation’s official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009 ─ the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate.
  • There were 46.2 million people in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009 ─ the fourth consecutive annual increase and the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published.
  • The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 49.0 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010.
  • Since 2007, the year before the most recent recession, real median household income has declined 6.4 percent and is 7.1 percent below the median household income peak that occurred prior to the 2001 recession in 1999.
  • The poverty rate in 2010 was the highest since 1993 but was 7.3 percentage points lower than the poverty rate in 1959, the first year for which poverty estimates are available. Since 2007, the poverty rate has increased by 2.6 percentage points.

You can download and review the complete report on Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010.

Also from Census: Child Poverty by Selected Race Groups and Hispanic Origin: 2009 and 2010.  This brief, based on the 2009 and 2010 American Community Survey, compares national and state level child poverty rates for all children and for children by race group and Hispanic origin for each state and the District of Columbia. Highlights:  More than 15 million U.S. children ages 0 to 17 lived in poverty in 2010.  Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and the District of Columbia had child poverty rates of 25 percent or higher.  White and Asian children had poverty rates below the national average, while black children had the highest poverty rate at 38.2 percent. The poverty rate for Hispanic children was 32.3 percent, and children identified with two or more races had 22.7 percent living in poverty.  Download the entire report. 

Again, from Census: Food Stamp/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Receipt in the Past 12 Months for Households by State: 2009 and 2010.  Highlights: In 2010, 13.6 million households reported receiving food stamp/SNAP benefits during the past 12 months.  The state with the highest food stamp/SNAP participation was Oregon with 17.9 percent. Other states among the highest food stamp/SNAP participation included Tennessee and Michigan.  Download Report. 

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