he economic news isn't getting any better. Data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that America's poverty rate is at its highest point since 1993. Indeed, the poverty rate "is now approaching levels not seen since Lyndon B. Johnson launched the War on Poverty in 1965," says Don Lee in the Los Angeles Times. Here, a brief guide, by the numbers:
Percentage of Americans living below the poverty line in 2010
Percentage of Americans living below the poverty line in 2009
Percentage of Americans living below the poverty line in 2000
Number of Americans living in poverty in 2010, the most in the 52 years the Census has been tracking this statistic
Number of Americans without health insurance, up from 49 million in 2009
Percentage of Americans without health insurance, approximately the same rate as in 2009
Median household income for 2010, in dollars. That's down from $50,599 in 2009.
Percentage increase in income for middle-class families from 1980 to 2010
Percentage increase in income for the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans during that same period. "It's not that the American economy has necessarily performed badly," says Paul Osterman, an MIT labor economist. "As a country we're richer over that period, but there's been this real shift in where the income has gone, and it's to the top."
Sources: BusinessWeek, CNN, Los Angeles Times, New York Times
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