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America's poverty crisis: By the numbers
One in seven Americans lived below the poverty line last year. How bad is the problem?
Americans are suffering the effects of the highest poverty rate in 15 years.
Americans are suffering the effects of the highest poverty rate in 15 years.
Corbis
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he Census Bureau released grim numbers for the state of Americans, and the U.S. economy, on Thursday. In 2009, one in every seven Americans — 14.3 percent — was living in poverty, a 1.1 percentage point jump, to the highest poverty rate in 15 years. The new data show "just how tough 2009 was," President Obama said. Here's a by-the-numbers look at America's poverty crisis:

43.6 million
Number of Americans living in poverty

$21,954
U.S. poverty line, for a family of four

$10,956
U.S. poverty line, for an individual

25.8
Percentage of black Americans who are poor

1 in 5
Number of U.S. children who live in poverty

 

1 in 11
Number of elderly Americans who do

23.1%
Poverty rate in Mississippi

7.8%
Rate in New Hampshire

15.1%
U.S. poverty rate in 1993

22.4%
U.S. poverty rate in 1959

16%
Peak poverty rate in the next 10 years, according to a Brookings Institution estimate

3.3 million
Number of Americans currently kept out of poverty by unemployment benefits

16.7
Percentage of Americans without health insurance

50.7 million
Number of Americans who lost health coverage in 2009

46
Percentage rise in demand at food banks in 2009

Sources: Bloomberg, CNN Money, USA Today, Slate/AP, New York, Census Bureau (PDF)

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