Nearly 1 in 6 in US Lives in Poverty

In 2010, 15.1% lived below poverty line: US census data
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2011 11:41 AM CDT
Nearly 1 in 6 in US Lives in Poverty
Nearly 1 in 6 people in the US lives below the poverty line.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Unsettling news from the US Census Bureau: Nearly one in six people lived in poverty last year. About 46.2 million people, or 15.1%, were below the poverty line, compared to 43.6 million, or 14.3%, in 2009, the AP reports. CNN adds that the poverty rate was last exactly that high in 1993, and hit 15.2% in 1983. The poverty line is currently defined as a yearly income of $22,314 for a family of four or $11,139 for one person.

Income for middle-class families also fell slightly last year, to a median of $49,445. Mississippi had the lowest median income, $37,985, while New Hampshire had the highest, $66,707. The South also had the highest poverty rate and the Northeast the lowest. Meanwhile, the number of people without health insurance also increased to 49.9 million, a new high. (Read more poverty stories.)

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