More Americans Now in Poverty Than First ThoughtKatherine Stone
More than 16% of Americans now find themselves in poverty, which is the highest level ever, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
People are considered in poverty if they make $11,139 annually for an individual, or $22,314 for a family of four. Right now, 49.1 million Americans live at or below this level, nearly three million more than was initially reported this fall.
The revised number was determined by a new formula created by the Census Bureau that takes into account how programs like food stamps offset poverty and how increased costs of healthcare and housing impact it as well.
The Associated Press reports the rise in poverty is due primarily to increased healthcare expenses for Americans 65 and older, and higher commuting and childcare costs for adults aged 18-64.
If there’s any good news whatsoever about the poverty rate from this report, it would be that the “poverty rate for children declined, from 22 percent to 18.2 percent.”