Say Hello to the Highest Poverty Rate in 17 Years

Say Hello to the Highest Poverty Rate in 17 Years

Say Hello to the Highest Poverty Rate in 17 Years

The Republican plan for greater austerity—large spending cuts on all levels of government—would only exacerbate the pain suffered by lower-income families.

Facebook
Twitter
Email
Flipboard
Pocket

The Census Bureau has released its poverty numbers for 2010, and the picture isn’t pretty: 46.2 million people were living in poverty last year, according to the bureau’s latest report, the largest number for the fifty-two years that the data have been published. This marks the fourth consecutive year in which poverty rose, with an overall poverty rate of 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009, and the highest rate since 1993. Indeed, with real median household income at $49,445—a drop of 2.3 prcent from 2009—incomes are lower now than they were more than a decade ago.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, poor households are much more likely to experience hardship than their middle or upper-class counterparts. Among other things, they are more likely to experience hunger, live in overcrowded housing, miss a rent or mortgage payment and forgo medical care. Here’s a chart for illustration:

Poor Hardships

The Republican plan for greater austerity—large spending cuts on all levels of government—would only exacerbate the pain suffered by lower-income families. According to the International Monetary Fund, austerity measures have a tremendously negative affect on economic growth. A budget cutback of 1 percent of GDP would lower incomes by 0.6 percent and increase unemployment by almost 0.5 percent. In the United States, this amounts to a $150 billion cut—pocket change to most conservatives.

In other words, the ideal world for Republicans is one where we cut trillions from the federal budget, and initiate a disastrous program of targeted economic pain.

Exciting.

Thank you for reading The Nation

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read, just one of the many incisive, deeply-reported articles we publish daily. Now more than ever, we need fearless journalism that shifts the needle on important issues, uncovers malfeasance and corruption, and uplifts voices and perspectives that often go unheard in mainstream media.

Throughout this critical election year and a time of media austerity and renewed campus activism and rising labor organizing, independent journalism that gets to the heart of the matter is more critical than ever before. Donate right now and help us hold the powerful accountable, shine a light on issues that would otherwise be swept under the rug, and build a more just and equitable future.

For nearly 160 years, The Nation has stood for truth, justice, and moral clarity. As a reader-supported publication, we are not beholden to the whims of advertisers or a corporate owner. But it does take financial resources to report on stories that may take weeks or months to properly investigate, thoroughly edit and fact-check articles, and get our stories into the hands of readers.

Donate today and stand with us for a better future. Thank you for being a supporter of independent journalism.

Ad Policy
x