Showing posts from September, 2010

Poverty Figures Are Bad; They Could Be Much Worse

The latest figures measuring poverty in America are quite horrifying. According to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau , the number of Americans living below the poverty line has reached its highest level in 51 years. About 14.3 percent of Americans live below the poverty threshold (absurdly defined as $22,050 for a family of four) according to Census Bureau data for 2009. The official poverty rate is the highest it has been since 1994. The economic crisis, dubbed "The Great Recession," has pushed a record number of Americans into poverty. With 44 million poor – an increase of 4 million over the previous year – the number of people in poverty has not been this high since 1959, the first year that poverty estimates were made available by the Census. Not surprisingly, people of color are disproportionately represented in those numbers. Nearly one-quarter of blacks and Hispanics live below the poverty line. Between 2008 and 2009, the black poverty rate rose from 24