I recently read a summary report about poverty in the United States. The data is based on information collected from the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau and has to do with rates at the end of 2009.
What do you think about these stats?
- The offical poverty rate in 2009 was 14.3%, up from 13.2% in 2008. (NOTE: In measuring a large popluation a 1% -+ is considered significant. This was the second significant increase sin 2004.) This was the highest poverty rate since 1994, but was 8.1% points lower than the poverty rate in 1959, the first year for which poverty estimates were available.
- In 2009, 43.6 million people were in poverty, up from 39.8 million in 2008. (NOTE: There are approximately 300 million people in the U.S.) This was the third year in a row that the number of people in poverty increased. This is also the largest number of people in poverty in the 51 yearsfor which poverty estimates have been published.
- Between 2008 and 2009, the poverty rate increased for children under the age of 18 (from 19% to 20.7%) and people aged 18-64 (from 11.7% to 12.9%), but decreased for people aged 65 and older (from 9.7% to 8.9%).
- Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 42.5% of the people in poverty, compared to 64.9% of the total population.
- For blacks, the poverty rate and the number of poverty increased to 25.8% and 9.9 million in 2009. (NOTE: The percentage of the population that is African-American is 13.6%.)
- For Hispanics, the poverty rate was 25.3%, or 12.4 million people. (NOTE: The percentage of the population that is Hispanic is 16.7%.)
- The Native American population in the U.S. is 2.4 million. This is only .9% of the population, yet 25% of all Native Americans live in poverty. (NOTE: This information comes from another source. The report I read did not even mention Native Americans!)
- The poverty rate and the number of families in poverty were 11.1% and 8.8 million in 2009, compared with 10.3% and 8.1% in 2008.