Census Data Results on Poverty and Inequality

As Mother Jones reportsthe US Census Bureau not long ago released its annual data on income, poverty,  health insurance coverage, and other metrics of prosperity. As to be expected, the news is pretty grim, with poverty barely budging between 2010 and 2011:

Pay attention to which income brackets actually did see growth.

It gets even worse you break it down to specifics:

Poverty remained flat: 46.2 million people—15 percent of the population—lived on less than $23,021 annually for a family of four.

Child poverty remained flat16.1 million children—22 percent of all children—lived in poverty, including over 37 percent of African-American children.

Children under age 5 in poverty: Over 5 million—25 percent of all children under age 5—including over 42 percent of African-American children, and 36 percent of Latino children in that age group.

People who would have been in poverty if not for Social Security: 67.6 million (program kept 21.4 million people out of poverty).

Income inequality: Incomes fell for the bottom four-fifths of US households, rising only for the top one-fifth.

Gender gap, 2011: Women 34 percent more likely to be poor than men.

Gender gap, 2010: Women 29 percent more likely to be poor than women.

Change in average household income, middle 20 percent: -$876, or -1.7 percent

Change in average household income, top 5 percent: +$15,184, or +5.1 percent

Change in median income for full-time, year-round workers: -2.5 percent

Income quintile with largest growth in number of full-time, year-round workers: bottom 20 percent, with a 17.3 percent increase in FTYR workers.

Unemployment insurance (UI) income: fell by $36 billion (25 percent), due in part to benefits declining as Recovery Act provisions expired.

Unemployment insurance, 2010: lifted 3.2 million people out of poverty.

Unemployment insurance, 2011: lifted 2.3 million people out of poverty.

Federal UI benefits scheduled to end entirely, for everybody: December 31, 2012

Number and percentage of uninsured Americans: fell by 1.3 million, from 16.3 percent to 15.7 percent, largest annual improvement since 1999; 40 percent of that decline is attributable to persons ages 19–25, as a result of Affordable Care Act allowing individuals to remain on their parents’ policies until age 26.

Earned Income Tax Credit: would have lifted 5.7 million people—including 3.1 million children—out of poverty if counted in the poverty measure, bringing poverty rate under 13.2 percent.

SNAP (food stamps): would have lifted 3.9 million people—including 1.7 million children—out of poverty if counted in the poverty measure, bringing poverty rate down to 13.7 percent.

Keep in mind, this is census data – hard facts and figures, not leftist propaganda. It’s indisputable that poverty and inequality are becoming problems in this country. Yet the issue is still being discussed largely as if it is rhetorical. What’s it going to take for Americans to realize that these issues need to be confronted and addressed constantly, rather than only when such news first emerges?

2 comments on “Census Data Results on Poverty and Inequality

  1. and these are goverments figures which suggests to me that the situation is probably even worse.. as ever the rich get richer .. this is en engineered crisis to keep us all in fear and therefore controlled..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s