|A Recovery for Some, a Worsening for Others|
|Subject||Number of People Living in Poverty has Increased|
|Topic||Income Distribution and Poverty|
|Key Words||Poverty; Median Income; Minorities|
The Census Bureau reported 34.6 million people living in poverty in 2002, up 1.7 million people from 2001. At the same time, median income fell by $500 to $42,409. The increases in reported poverty were felt most heavily in the Midwest, where total employment has fallen by 2%. African-Americans fared worst among minorities, with median income falling by 3%, and percentage in poverty rising to 24.1%. The poverty rate for single mothers stayed roughly the same at 26.5%, while the number of entire families living below the poverty line increased to 9.6%. Finally, 16.7 % of children were listed as living in poverty.
Poverty levels were also updated to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index. The cutoff levels for a family of four was $18,392; $14, 348 for a family of three; $11,756 for a family of two; and $9,183 for a single individual.
Democratic candidates for President seized on these statistics as indications
that the recent recession was deeper than expected, and has not been as
easy to overcome for some as for others. Conservative policy-makers, however,
noted that the increases were not as severe after this recession as they
have been in past recessions.
(Updated October, 2003)
|Source||Lynette Clemetson, "Number of People Living in Poverty in U.S. Increases Again." The New York Times. 26 September 2003.|
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