Thursday, January 6, 2011

1 in 6 Americans Struggles in Poverty

INN World Report

The number of poor people in the U.S. is millions higher than previously known. Preliminary census figures released Wednesday show 1 in 6 Americans, many 65 and older, are struggling with poverty due to rising medical and other costs. Under a new census formula, poverty in 2009 stood at 15.7 percent, or 47.8 million people. 4.2 million more people than the official 2009 rate of 14.3 percent.  Those 65 and older had the largest increases in poverty under the revised formula, nearly doubling to 16.1 percent. Adults aged 18-64 also saw increases in poverty. The new measure will not replace the official poverty rate but will be published alongside the traditional figure this fall as a "supplement." Economists have long criticized the official poverty measure as inadequate because it only includes pretax cash income and doesn’t account for medical, transportation and work expenses.  


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