Poverty Level Remains Stubbornly High

As reported in a recent Huffington Post article, the U.S. Census Bureau's latest figures show that 14.5 percent of Americans lived below the poverty line in 2013, slightly down from 15 percent in 2012, but more than two percentage points higher than it was pre-recession in 2007.

In 2013 the poverty threshold was $11,490 for a person and $23,550 for a family of four.  The income measures used by the Census Bureau do not take into account taxes, tax credits, capital gains or non-cash benefits (such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and housing assistance).

Highlights from the report include:
  • The poverty rate for children under 18 fell from 21.8 percent in 2012 to 19.9 percent in 2013.
  • The poverty rate for people aged 18 to 64 was 13.6 percent, while the rate for people aged 65 and older was 9.5 percent. Neither of these poverty rates was statistically different from its 2012 estimates.
  • Both the poverty rate and the number in poverty decreased for Hispanics in 2013.
  • Despite the decline in the national poverty rate, the 2013 regional poverty rates were not statistically different from the 2012 rates. 
  • About 1 in 5 related children under age 6 were in poverty in 2013. The poverty rate and the number in poverty for these children were 22.2 percent and 5.2 million in 2013, down from 24.4 percent and 5.8 million in 2012.  Among related children under age 6 in families with a female householder, more than half (55.0 percent) were in poverty.22 This was more than five times the rate for related children in married-couple families (10.2 percent).

Read more:

TeachingwithData.org resources:
Topics At A Glance: Poverty (http://www.teachingwithdata.org/resource/2967)
Children in Poverty Course Module (http://www.teachingwithdata.org/resource/2871)
Differences in Social Class Status and Poverty Levels Among Older Adults in the United States (http://www.teachingwithdata.org/resource/3164)
Race and Poverty in the United States (http://www.teachingwithdata.org/resource/3169)
Poverty and Young Adults (http://www.teachingwithdata.org/resource/3170)
Investigating Children in Poverty (http://www.teachingwithdata.org/resource/3175)
Poverty (http://www.teachingwithdata.org/resource/3103)
Gender, Education, Family, Poverty, and Race (http://www.teachingwithdata.org/resource/3128)
Frederique Laubepin

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