Poverty

US Poverty Rate Unchanged

At around 50 million

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The number of poor people in the United States held steady at nearly 50 million last year, but government programs appear to have lessened the impact, especially on children and the elderly, federal data released on Wednesday showed.

The Census Bureau, using an alternative measure to the government's main poverty gauge, said the figure was virtually unchanged from a year earlier with the overall poverty rate stuck at 16 percent.

But without tax credits, Social Security payments and other benefits, it would have been higher for the very poor, the young and the old, the data showed.