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.