Record Increase of Americans Living in Poverty

Tuesday, September 14, 2010
When income data gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau is released for 2009, it’s likely to show the poverty rate jumped to 15% from 13.2% the year before—the single highest increase since the government began recording such information in 1959.
A 15% poverty rate means that about 45 million Americans were poor last year, an addition of 5 million people in the last year. This would be the highest rate of poverty since 1993. When President Lyndon Johnson launched his War on Poverty campaign in 1965, the poverty rate was 17.3%. The rate gradually decreased until it hit 11.1% in 1973 and then rose to 15.2% in 1983.
By 1989, the poverty rate was back down to 12.8%, but it returned to 15.1% in 1993. After hitting another low of 11.3% in 2000, the rate has risen steadily ever since.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
US Poverty Rate Expected to Post a Record Increase (by Hope Yen and Liz Sidoti, Associated Press)


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