US Poverty Rate Hit 15 Percent in 2010

Washington, Sep 14 (IANS/EFE): The US poverty rate increased from 14.3 percent in 2009 to 15.1 percent last year, a figure equivalent to 46.2 million people, the Census Bureau said Tuesday.

This is the fourth consecutive annual increase and the highest percentage in the 52 years that the Census Bureau has published statistics on poverty.

According to the report entitled "Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010", middle class household income declined 2.3 percent compared to the 2009 level to an average of $49,445.

The US government this year reset the earnings level that defines the poverty threshold, adjusted for inflation, to an annual income of $22,314 for a family of four and $11,139 for a single person.

The percentage of people without health insurance remained at 16.3 percent of the total US population of 310 million but the number of people that percentage represents increased from 49 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010.

Since 2007, a year before the recession began, the average real household income has declined by 6.4 percent and the poverty rate has increased by 2.6 percent.


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