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America's highest poverty rate in nearly 20 years: By the numbers
An increasingly bleak job market is having devastating effects on the nation's families
 
A homeless person in New York City: Roughly 1 in 6 Americans now live in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
A homeless person in New York City: Roughly 1 in 6 Americans now live in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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:

22,113
Poverty line, in dollars, for a family of four

11,139
Poverty line, in dollars, for an individual

15.1
Percentage of Americans living below the poverty line in 2010

14.3
Percentage of Americans living below the poverty line in 2009

11.3
Percentage of Americans living below the poverty line in 2000

46.2 million
Number of Americans living in poverty in 2010, the most in the 52 years the Census has been tracking this statistic

49.9 million
Number of Americans without health insurance, up from 49 million in 2009

16.3
Percentage of Americans without health insurance, approximately the same rate as in 2009

49,445
Median household income for 2010, in dollars. That's down from $50,599 in 2009.

11
Percentage increase in income for middle-class families from 1980 to 2010

42
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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