Poverty Rate Rises to 12.7 Percent

According to the Census Bureau, for the fourth year in a row, the nation’s poverty rate has increased, rising to 12.7 percent of the population last year.

The percentage of people without health insurance did not change.

Overall, there were 37 million people living in poverty, up 1.1 million people from 2003.

Asians were the only ethnic group to show a decline in poverty — from 11.8 percent in 2003 to 9.8 percent last year. The poverty rate among the elderly declined as well, from 10.2 percent in 2003 to 9.8 percent last year.

The last decline in overall poverty was in 2000, when 31.1 million people lived under the threshold — 11.3 percent of the population. Since then, the poverty rate has increased steadily from 11.7 percent in 2001, when the economy slipped into recession, to 12.5 percent in 2003.

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4 Responses to Poverty Rate Rises to 12.7 Percent

  1. Todd says:

    A colleague of mine at Duke wrote the following article recently concerning poverty:

    http://www.freep.com/voices/columnists/ebrady28e_20050828.htm

    The way the Census Bureau measures it (incorrectly in Brady’s opinion) means the poverty rate could be *far* higher than is being reported.

  2. Todd

    Thanks for the link… I’ll check it out later. I have no doubt the poverty rate is far higher than they estimate and sadly, given the current circumstances – Katrina, I fear we will a further increase in those figures.

  3. Ginny in CO says:

    One can only hope that a Democratic WH victory in ’08 will bring John Edwards and others studying the root causes of poverty into the problem solving.

    I will even fantasize a bit about the Democratic politicians not using Johnson’s tactic
    with foolish numbers to pretend they are making gains.

    Now there’s something the Dems can stop. Having ” A War on” anything…

  4. Ginny

    I can’t imagine what Katrina will do to the economy in the next few weeks. The rebuilding will boost the economy there, no doubt but the initial aftermath weeks… it’s so hard to think.