Poverty has declined in America

New data from the Census Bureau reveal that poverty declined in the U.S. last year – leaving poverty rates for blacks and female heads of households at their lowest levels since record-keeping began in 1979.

  • The number of people in poverty hit 31.1 million in 2000 – down from 32.3 million in 1999.

  • The poverty rate fell for the fourth consecutive year – from 11.8 percent in 1999 to 11.3 percent in 2000, the lowest since 1979 and about the same as the lowest rate ever recorded.

  • Median household income last year was $42,148 – with the median for Hispanic households at $33,447 and for blacks at $30,439, both record numbers.

  • A family of four was living in poverty if its annual income was below $17,603 – while the poverty line for a single person stood at $8,794.

    However, analysts say, the average poor person fell further below the poverty line in 1999 and 2000. They attributed the decline to cuts in food stamps and cash-assistance programmes and to declining participation in those programmes.

    Source: Katherine Q. Seelye, Poverty Rates Fell in 2000, But Income Was Stagnant, New York Times, September 26, 2001; based on Jospeh Dalaker, Consumer Income, Poverty in the United States: 2000, Current Population Reports, September 25, 2001, U.S. Bureau of the Census.

    For text http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/26/national/26INCO.html?searchpv=nytToday

    For report http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/p60-214.pdf
    For more on Poverty http://www.ncpa.org/pi/welfare/welfare12.html

    FMF\9 October 2001
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