Poverty Statistics: USA Poverty

Poverty is the unrelenting daily task of trying to make ends meet. It is the daily stress and worry about whether the car will break down or someone will get ill or your child will need a new pair of shoes. And then having to choose between whether to pay the rent, pay for medicine or pay for food. Which necessity will have to be sacrificed to pay for the added expense of the unexpected bill? Poverty is the exhausting, unending, time-consuming struggle of juggling and just hoping to make ends meet with no end in sight. Poverty robs you of a sense of security and it destroys your self-esteem and your hope for the future. And it has the potential to be hereditary...

Last year alone, 2.6 million more Americans fell below the poverty line for a total of 46.2 million living in poverty or over 15% or 1 in 6, the highest number of poor in over 50 years. At 200% of the federal poverty level, the poverty rate in America would be 30%. It is the first time since the Depression that median household income did not go up. Today's families are in worse shape than they were in the 1990's and the gap between rich and poor is widening. Government programs and nonprofit agencies are keeping many families going. If these programs are cut or funding reduced, a large percentage of people already on the brink of complete financial disaster will be in dire straits.

Poverty Rate Rises

Where does the United States rank internationally?

American Myths on Poverty:

American Poverty Statistics:

American Children and Poverty:

US Income Disparity:

Housing and Homelessness:

Housing: due to the high cost of housing, it is extremely difficult for the poor and lower middle class to afford housing. Low income housing groups the poor; reduces opportunity for diverse economically diverse socialization; stigmatizes the residents; has limited neighborhood amenities; and is economic segregation that can be a source of social rejection for children.

Why the increase in homelessness:


In 2008, foreclosure deeds of more than 12,500 (4 times higher than in 2006), added to the more than 4,000 families who had lost their homes the previous year. Foreclosures affect renters with multifamily properties represented 34% of the properties. In 2010 a record 1 million homes were foreclosed. As of January 2011, 5 million homeowners are at least 2 months behind in making their mortgage payments and in June 8% of US mortgages were at least 30 days late.

"It would take lenders 62 years at their current pace, the longest time frame in the nation, to repossess the 213,000 houses now in severe default or foreclosure." (from here.)

Characteristics of the average homeless family:

Health Care:

Food Insecurity and Hunger:


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