Some important statistics on American poverty including by age, race and location

American Poverty StatisticsSince the Occupy Movement, progressives have justifiably discussed and complained at length about wealth inequality. The 99% vs. the 1%, but it goes well beyond that. Consider for a moment that the bottom 25% of Americans have to no net wealth at all.

Many of these people either have no savings, don’t own a home, are saddled with student/household debt or all of the above. A lot of these people would think of themselves as poor, but many others would consider themselves middle-class. It’s not hard to earn $50,000 a year and have no accumulation of wealth.

It’s easy to feel sorry for a family with that kind of income who still can’t save for a rainy day. At least until you take a look at the people at the very bottom. Those with little hope of even coming close to a livable income.

The War on Poverty was declared 50 years ago. While there has been some moderate success, those small successes can quickly turn into outright failures, especially if we stay on the ideological road we’ve been on lately. Take a look at these American poverty statistics and judge for yourself.

In 2012, 16% of the American population lived in poverty. Approximately 46.5 million. In 1964, the poverty rate was only a couple percentage points higher. The rate has never fallen below 10%.

American Poverty StatisticsIn 1966, 28.5% of Americans ages 65 and over were poor. In 2012 poverty among seniors was just 9.1%. Social Security clearly did its job.

On the other hand, in 2012, 57% of poor Americans were ages 18 to 64, compared to 41.7% in 1959. Working men and women are getting poorer.

Children are just as poor now as they were back in the early 1980’s. 21.8% as of 2012.

57% of all children in the United States are currently living in homes that are considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.

The number of children living on $2.00 a day or less has grown to 2.8 million. An increase of 130% since 1996, the same year as Clinton’s Welfare Reform Act.

American Poverty Statistics, racial wealth gapIn 1966, 41.8% of African-Americans were poor. Blacks constituted nearly a third (31.1%) of all poor Americans. By 2012, poverty among African-Americans had fallen to 27.2%.

The 2010 census figures show that the average wealth of a black household was $4,995. Meanwhile the average wealth of a white household stood at $110,729. The great recession was responsible for the wealth gap nearly doubling.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either “poor” or “low income”.

One out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.

In January 2012, 633,782 people were homeless on any single night in the United States.

More than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the United States government, and that does not including Social Security or Medicare.

When it comes to poverty by state, 9 of the 10 most impoverished states are in the south. From Arizona straight across to North Carolina. All of them have a poverty rate over 16%.

American Poverty Statistics, poverty by state


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