September 10, 2009

U.S. Census Bureau says poverty rising

The U.S. Census Bureau said poverty levels increased in 2008 with widespread declines in the median family income.

The median income fell in households of each race category, the annual report said.

The report called Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008 said statistically the percentage of uninsured U.S. citizens did not change from 2007 to 2008, but the number of uninsured increased.

The poverty rate held steady for households managed by a person 65 years old or older. For households maintained by all other age groups and for children under 18, the poverty rate increased.

While chronic poverty was relatively uncommon, with 1.8 percent of the population living in poverty all 48 months ... approximately 31 percent of the population had at least one spell of poverty lasting 2 or more months during the 4-year period from 2004 to 2007, the report said.

Overall, the poverty rate climbed to 13.2 percent from 12.5 percent in 2007, with 39.8 million citizens living in poverty in 2008, up from 37.3 in 2007, the report said.

In 2008, the number of uninsured increased to 46.3 million from 45.7 million the previous year.

The median income fell by 3.6 percent from $52,163 to $50,303 between 2007 and 2008.