Poverty in America: facts from Moyers and Company

U.S. Poverty: By the Numbers

U.S. poverty (less than $17,916 for a family of three): 46.2 million people, 15.1 percent

Click pie chart to enlarge. Read the full report at the National Center for Children in Poverty website.

Children in poverty: 16.1 million, 22 percent of all children, including 39 percent of African-American children and 34 percent of Latino children. Poorest age group in country.

Deep poverty (less than $11,510 for a family of four): 20.4 million people, 1 in 15 Americans, including more than 15 million women and children

People who would have been in poverty if not for Social Security, 2011: 67.6 million
(program kept 21.4 million people out of poverty)

People in the U.S. experiencing poverty by age 65: Roughly half

Gender gap, 2011: Women 34 percent more likely to be poor than men

Gender gap, 2010: Women 29 percent more likely to be poor than men

Twice the poverty level (less than $46,042 for a family of four): 106 million people, more than 1 in 3 Americans

Jobs in the U.S. paying less than $34,000 a year: 50 percent

Jobs in the U.S. paying below the poverty line for a family of four, less than $23,000 annually: 25 percent

Poverty-level wages, 2011: 28 percent of workers

Percentage of individuals and family members in poverty who either worked or lived with a working family member, 2011: 57 percent

Families receiving cash assistance, 1996: 68 for every 100 families living in poverty

Families receiving cash assistance, 2010: 27 for every 100 families living in poverty

Impact of public policy, 2010: Without government assistance, poverty would have been twice as high — nearly 30 percent of population

Percentage of entitlement benefits going to elderly, disabled or working households: Over 90 percent.

Number of homeless children in U.S. public schools: 1,065,794

Annual cost of child poverty nationwide: $550 billion

Federal expenditures on home ownership mortgage deductions, 2012: $131 billion

Federal funding for low-income housing assistance programs, 2012: Less than $50 billion

Greg Kaufmann is a Nation contributor covering poverty in America. His work has also appeared on Common DreamsAlternet, Tikkun.org, NPR.org, CBSNews.com and MichaelMoore.com. He serves as an adviser for the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. 

Link: Moyers and Company

This entry was posted in Poverty.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *