Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Poverty in the US is Trending Upwards

Poverty in the United States: 2008

Under the official poverty definition, an average family of four was considered poor in 2008 if its pre-tax cash income for the year was below $22,025. It's hard to imagine a family of four existing on twice that amount today.

In 2008, 39.8 million people were counted as poor in the United States—an increase of 2.6 million persons from 2007, and nearly the largest number of persons counted as poor since 1960. The poverty rate, or percent of the population considered poor under the official definition, was reported at 13.2%; up from 12.5% in 2007, and the highest rate since 1997. The recent increase in poverty reflects the worsened economic conditions since the onset of the economic recession in December 2007. Many expect poverty to rise further next year, and it will likely remain comparatively high even after the economy begins to recover. The incidence of poverty varies widely across the population according to age, education, labor force attachment, family living arrangements, and area of residence, among other factors.
Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008
Data presented in this report indicate the following:

• Real median household income fell between 2007 and 2008, and the decline was widespread. Median income fell for family and nonfamily households, native-and
foreign-born households, households in 3 of the 4 regions, and households of each race categoryand those of Hispanic origin. These declines in income coincide

• The poverty rate increased between 2007 and 2008.

• The percentage of uninsured in 2008 was not statistically different from 2007, while the number.


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