Could the U.S. be getting poorer? That’s what the new census data is suggesting.
The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that, in 2010, not only did the median household income decline, but the poverty rate and the percentage of those without health insurance increased, as well. The ranks of the nation's poor have swelled to a record 46.2 million—nearly 1 in 6 Americans—up from 43.6 million in 2009. The results are the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published.
In an economy where 16.7 percent of African-Americans are unemployed—and the overall jobless rate is 9.1 percent—decreasing income for those who are working is a rising concern. Between 2009 and 2010, African-American household income dropped from $33,122 to $32,068, a decline of over 3 percent, in comparison to the 1.7 percent decline for whites and 2.3 percent decline for Latinos.
With income dropping and unemployment rising, it may not be a surprise to many that poverty is also on the rise. Out of all ethnic groups in the U.S., African-Americans had the highest percentage of people living in poverty. The poverty rate for Blacks rose to 27.4 percent from 25.8 percent in 2009. In 2010 9.9 percent of non-Hispanic whites, 12.1 percent of Asians and 26.6 percent of Latinos were living in poverty.
The data also shows that the number of Americans without health insurance coverage rose significantly. In 2010, Latinos lead the number of people without coverage at 30.7 percent, followed by 20.8 percent of Blacks and 15.4 percent of whites.
It seems as though the president’s Jobs Act couldn’t have been proposed at a more appropriate time.
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(Photo: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)