Census Bureau: Poverty spiked in 2009
At the height of the recession, the United States saw a marked increase in poverty, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau. The bureau’s “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009,” released Thursday, showed the nation’s official poverty rate in 2009 was 14.3 percent, up from 13.2 percent in 2008 — the second statistically significant annual increase in the poverty rate since 2004.
There were 43.6 million people in poverty in 2009, up from 39.8 million in 2008 — the third consecutive annual increase. However, the report also showed that real median household income in the United States in 2009 was $49,777, not statistically different from the 2008 median. Real median household income declined 1.8 percent for family households and also declined for some other groups, such as for blacks and non-Hispanic whites, while income increased 1.6 percent for non-family households and stayed roughly the same for Asian and Hispanic households.
Also, the report found that the number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 46.3 million in 2008 to 50.7 million in 2009, while the percentage increased from 15.4 percent to 16.7 percent over the same period. The data in the report was compiled from information collected in the 2010 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement.