The 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
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you shouldn't eat dog. Not even once.
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- Why Israel can no longer let the Palestinian Authority be responsible for security in the West Bank
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- Grammar quiz: Do you know the passive voice?
- How social conservatives became a minority in need of protection
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Why charity can't solve society's deepest problems
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Hey, Paul Ryan's new poverty plan isn't completely terrible!
Subscribe to the Week