One in Six Americans Living Below Poverty Line: Census

New York, Sep 14 (PTI): One in six Americans are now living below poverty line, the Census Bureau said in a report, reflecting the adverse impact of economic crisis on common man. 
"The nation's official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 per cent, up from 14.3 per cent in 2009 - the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate," Census Bureau said in its report.

"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," it said.

These findings are contained in the report 'Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010.'

The government defines the poverty line as income of USD 22,314 (about Rs 10 lakh) a year for a family of four and USD 11,139 (about Rs 5 lakh) for individual.

Census Bureau said, the number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 49.0 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010, while the percentage without coverage - 16.3 per cent – was not statistically different from the rate in 2009.

Since 2007, the year before the most recent recession, real median household income has declined 6.4 per cent and is 7.1 per cent below the median household income peak that occurred prior to the 2001 recession in 1999.

The percentages are not statistically different from each another, the Census Bureau said.

The poverty rate increased for children younger than 18 (from 20.7 per cent in 2009 to 22.0 per cent in 2010) and people 18 to 64 (from 12.9 per cent in 2009 to 13.7 per cent in 2010), while it was not statistically different for people 65 and older (9.0 per cent), it said.

Similar to the patterns observed for the poverty rate in 2010, the number of people in poverty increased for children younger than 18 (15.5 million in 2009 to 16.4 million in 2010) and people 18 to 64 (24.7 million in 2009 to 26.3 million in 2010) and was not statistically different for people 65 and older (3.5 million), the Census Bureau said.
Among race groups, real median income declined for white and black households between 2009 and 2010, while changes for Asian and Hispanic-origin households were not statistically different.

Real median income for each race and Hispanic-origin group has not yet recovered to the pre-2001 recession all-time highs, the report said.

The Census Bureau said there has been considerable impact of the economic crisis on the people here. Median household income declined the first full year following the December 2007 to June 2009 recession, as well as in the first full year following three other recessions (March 2001 to November 2001, January 1980 to July 1980 and December 1969 to November 1970).

However, household income increased the first full year following the November 1973 to March 1975 recession, and the changes following the July 1990 to March 1991 and July 1981 to November 1982 recessions were not statistically significant, it said.

The poverty rate and the number of people in poverty increased in the first calendar year following the end of the last three recessions. For the recessions that ended in 1961 and 1975, the poverty rate decreased in the next full calendar year, it said. 


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