One Quarter of African-Americans and Latinos Live in Poverty

Thursday, September 15, 2011
More than one in four African-Americans and Hispanics lived in poverty during 2010 in the United States, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. The Department of Health and Human Services defines poverty as $22,350 annual income for a family of four or $10,890 for an individual.
Amid the bleak news about the 21st century’s first 10 years—now labeled the “lost decade” by some economists—were sobering numbers about life for millions of minorities.
Twenty-seven percent of African-Americans resided below the poverty line last year, while the rate for Hispanics was gauged to be 26%. Both represented increases from 2009.
Just under 10% of whites lived in poverty (up from 9.4% in 2009). The percentage of Asians remained the same: 12.1%.
The Census Bureau reported that another 2.6 million Americans slipped into poverty last year, bringing the total to 46.2 million people—the highest number in the 52 years the bureau has been publishing such information. Most of the growth in poverty has occurred in the South, where 1.5 million people dropped below the poverty line.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010 (by Carmen DeNavas-Walt, Bernadette D. Proctor and Jessica C. Smith, United States Census Bureau) (pdf)
Soaring Poverty Casts Spotlight on ‘Lost Decade’ (by Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times)
Record Increase of Americans Living in Poverty (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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