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Thursday, August 26, 2004

35.9 million americans in poverty

just a little while ago, the census bureau released their annual data on poverty. this “strong” economy has done this:

* The number of people below the official poverty thresholds numbered 35.9 million in 2003, or 1.3 million more than in 2002, for a 2003 poverty rate of 12.5 percent. Although up from 2002, this rate is below the average of the 1980s and 1990s.
* The poverty rate and number of families in poverty increased from 9.6 percent and 7.2 million in 2002 to 10.0 percent and 7.6 million in 2003. The corresponding numbers for unrelated individuals in poverty in 2003 were 20.4 percent and 9.7 million (not different from 2002).
* As defined by the Office of Management and Budget and updated for inflation using the Consumer Price Index, the average poverty threshold for a family of four in 2003 was $18,810; for a family of three, $14,680; for a family of two, $12,015; and for unrelated individuals, $9,393

that’s 12.2% of the population (using the current “population clock” of 294.1 million americans). it’s also more than the total population of canada (32.5 million).

as a note, $9393 a year for an individual, working 2000 (50 * 40) hours a year works out to $4.69, which is just a wee bit below the federal minimum wage.

posted by roj at 11:23 am