Poverty In America: A Special Report
America is getting poorer. The U.S. government has just released a bunch of new statistics about poverty in America, and once again this year the news is not good. According to a special report from the U.S. Census Bureau, 46.2 million Americans are now living in poverty. The number of those living in poverty in America has grown by 2.6 million in just the last 12 months, and that is the largest increase that we have ever seen since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959. Not only that, median household income has also fallen once again. In case you are keeping track, that makes three years in a row. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States dropped 2.3% in 2010 after accounting for inflation. Overall, median household income in the United States has declined by a total of 6.8% once you account for inflation since December 2007. So should we be excited that our incomes are going down and that a record number of Americans slipped into poverty last year? Should we be thrilled that the economic pie is shrinking and that our debt levels are exploding? All of those that claimed that the U.S. economy was recovering and that everything was going to be just fine have some explaining to do.
Back in the year 2000, 11.3% of all Americans were living in poverty. Today, 15.1% of all Americans are living in poverty. The last time the poverty level was this high was back in 1993.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the government definition of poverty rises based on the rate of inflation. If inflation was still calculated the way that it was 30 or 40 years ago, the poverty line would be much, much higher and millions more Americans would be considered to be living in poverty.