More Than 46 Million Americans Still in Poverty.
As state anti-poverty programs around the country confront severe budget cuts, today’s report indicates income inequality has reached an all-time high.
According to Census Bureaufigures released today, 15 percent of the US population lives in poverty. In 2011, more than 46 million Americans lived below a poverty line that was set more than four decades ago, in 1969.
The poverty rate for children remains more than 20 percent for the third year in a row. More than one-third of black children and Hispanic children live in poverty.
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In the words of Rep. Mike Honda (D-California), co-chair of the Congressional Out-of-Poverty Caucus, these figures are “a stark reminder that, although we are the wealthiest nation the world has ever known, far too many children are going to bed hungry.”
In fact, the USDA reports that more than 16 million American children are “food insecure.”
Today’s census report also contained bad news on incomes.
Median household income (adjusted for inflation) was down an additional 1.5 percent from the already-low levels of 2010. Median income is now 8.9 percent lower than it was in 1999.
Income inequality, as measured by the Gini index – the degree of income inequality, with 0 representing total equality and 100 representing total inequality – reached a new record high of 47.7 percent. A Gini index of 50 would be equivalent to half of the population receiving all of the country’s income, while the other half got nothing. Read more