Update: Census poverty numbers not horrible, just bad

Sep 12, 2012

The Census Bureau shared better than expected news this morning.

The Bureau released the numbers on how many Americans lived in poverty last year. It was expected these numbers would show more people live in poverty now than in the 1960s.

But in fact, the poverty rate stayed the same. According to the report there are still over 42 million people living in poverty.  That's fifteen percent of the country's population. And, poverty is still just shy of record levels. Poverty did decline among some groups, notably in the South, the suburbs and among non-citizens. It stayed about the same everyplace else.

"For those groups where their poverty rate actually fell, there was a huge increase in the number of full-time, year-round workers," said David Johnson, who presented the Census's report to the media. "And, there was also a huge increase in full-time year-round workers in the bottom quintile."

While the report shows some progress being made on poverty, it also found the gap  between rich and poor  increased last year. Median income also fell for the second year in a row. It is now $50,054.

The Census will release state and city specific data next week.

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