Thursday, January 09, 2014

One in Three Americans Experienced Poverty

In a three-year time period, nearly one-third of Americans experienced poverty, according to a Census Bureau report. During the 36 months from January 2009 through December 2011, fully 31.6 percent of the population was poor for at least two months.

By race and Hispanic origin, the percentage of the population in poverty for at least two months ranged from a high of 49.6 percent among Hispanics to a low of 25.4 percent among non-Hispanic whites. By age the percentage was as high as 40.6 percent among children, 31.0 percent among adults aged 18 to 64, and 15.7 percent among the elderly. By educational attainment, the 50.6 percent majority of those without a high school diploma experienced at least a two-month spell of poverty. Even among those with some college education, a substantial 22.9 percent experienced at least two months of poverty during the three-year time period under analysis.

Among those who experienced poverty, the median length of a poverty spell was 6.6 months. Only 3.5 percent were poor for the entire 36 months.

Source: Census Bureau, Dynamics of Economic Well-Being: Poverty, 2009-2011

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