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Report: Nearly 1 in 6 Americans in Poverty
Census bureau figures report that the U.S. poverty rate has reached a 52-year high, meaning that one in every six people in America now lives below the poverty line, defined as an annual income below $22,314 for a family of four. This is the third year in a row that poverty levels have increased, with the latest figures showing that 15.1 percent of the country currently lives in poverty, or 46.2 million people. While all regions of the U.S. are experiencing increases in the poverty rate, it is the American South that has been the hardest hit, with nearly 17 percent of its population living below the poverty line.
Even though living above the line saw their circumstances worsen, according to the Census Bureau, as real median household income in the U.S. shrunk 2.3 percent from last year’s figures, setting the current median at $49,445. Since 2007, median household income has declined by a total of 6.4 percent.