CCHD - About Poverty
Welcome to Poverty, USA population 46.2 million.
Nearly ONE in SIX of us lives in Poverty, USA. And worse yet, nearly one in four children.
Who lives in Poverty, USA?
All those who make less than the Federal government’s official poverty threshold which for a family of four is $22,314. People working at minimum wage, even holding down several jobs. Seniors living on fixed incomes. Wage earners suddenly out of work. Millions of families everywhere from our cities to rural communities.
We can end it.
Join us in breaking the cycle of poverty and helping people move themselves out of Poverty, USA. Learn more about community organizations that support self-sufficiency, improve communities, and encourage independence.
What’s it like to live in Poverty, USA?
Living in poverty means one impossible choice after another – between food and medicine, getting to work or paying the heating bill, covering the rent or daycare for your children.
To learn more about poverty in America, visit the USCCB’s PovertyUSA website, complete with interactive tools to help spread the word.
Poverty in the U.S.: Its Causes and Our Response
Poverty in the United States is a reality. You may be surprised to learn that:
- The official poverty rate in 2010 according to the Federal government was 15.1 percent — up from 14.3 percent in 2009.
- By official measures, 46.2 million people were in poverty, up from 43.6 million in 2009 — the fourth consecutive annual increase in the number of people in poverty. The number of people in poverty in 2010 is the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published.
- Between 2009 and 2010, the poverty rate increased for children under age 18 (from 20.7 percent to 22.0 percent).
- Between 2009 and 2010, the family poverty rate increased from 11.1 percent (8.8 million families) to11.7 percent (9.2 million families).
- The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 49.0 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010. In 2010, 9.8 percent of children under 18 were without health insurance; the uninsured rate for children in poverty (15.4 percent) was greater than the rate for all children (9.8 percent).
- In 2010, the U.S. minimum wage was $7.25/hour. An individual making minimum wage could work a 40-hour week and make $15,080/year.
- In 2010, 72.9 million American workers age 16 and over were paid at hourly rates, nearly 60 percent of all wage and salary workers. Among those paid by the hour, 1.8 million earned exactly the prevailing Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. About 2.5 million had wages below the minimum. Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers: 2010, February 25, 2011
- In the spring of 2011, 5.9 million young adults (age 25-34) resided in their parents' households, up from 4.7 million in 2007. Young adults living with their parents had an official poverty rate of 8.4 percent; if their poverty status is determined using their own income, rather than family income, 45.3 percent had an income below the poverty threshold for a single person under 65. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division: Poverty, September 13, 2011