America's poverty rate rose from 4 Million to 43.6 Million in 2009

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 29 September 2010, 09:15 Hrs
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Bangalore: The number of people living in poverty in America rose by nearly 4 million to 43.6 million in 2009. It can be said as the largest figure in the 51 years for which poverty estimates are available. The official poverty rate was 14.3 percent, or 1 in 7 of Americans. The Census Bureau said in a statement that the poverty rate in 2009 was the highest since 1994, but was 8.1 percentage points lower than the poverty rate in 1959, the first year for which poverty estimates are available. The number of people in poverty in 2009 is the largest number in the 51 years for which poverty estimates are available.

It was the third consecutive annual increase, up from 39.8 million, or 13.2 percent, in 2008. The bureau added that there were 8.8 million families living in poverty in 2009. The poverty rate for under-18s rose from 19.0 percent in 2008 to 20.7 percent in 2009, but fewer people 65 and older were in poverty, with the percentage rate falling from 9.7 percent in 2008 to 8.9 percent in 2009.

In 2009, the family poverty rate and the number of families in poverty were 11.1 percent and 8.8 million, respectively, up from 10.3 percent and 8.1 million in 2008. The poverty rate and the number in poverty increased across all types of families: married-couple families, female-householder-with-no-husband-present families and for male-householder-no-wife-present families.

The statistics cover President Barack Obama's first year in office, when unemployment climbed to 10 percent in the months after the financial meltdown. In a statement, Obama said that "even before the recession hit, middle class incomes had been stagnant and the number of people living in poverty in America was unacceptably high, and today's numbers make it clear that our work is just beginning. Our task now is to continue working together to improve our schools, build the skills of our workers, and invest in our nation's critical infrastructure."

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