U.S. Poverty Rate Finally Fell


There's not much good news for working Americans struggling to rebound from the recession, except perhaps this: the U.S. poverty rate is finally on the decline.

The nation's poverty rate fell to 14.5% in 2013, down from 15% a year earlier, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday. This is the first statistically significant drop in poverty since 2006, when it was 12.3%.

A lot of the decrease is coming from people finding full-time work—and thus earning more money. But the number of people in poverty remains stuck at 45.3 million. As America's population expands, the job growth hasn't kept pace.


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  1. “Poverty” needs to be redefined.

    “As scholar James Q. Wilson has stated, “The poorest Americans today live a better life than all but the richest persons a hundred years ago.”[3] In 2005, the typical household defined as poor by the government had a car and air conditioning. For entertainment, the household had two color televisions, cable or satellite TV, a DVD player, and a VCR. If there were children, especially boys, in the home, the family had a game system, such as an Xbox or a PlayStation.[4] In the kitchen, the household had a refrigerator, an oven and stove, and a microwave. Other household conveniences included a clothes washer, clothes dryer, ceiling fans, a cordless phone, and a coffee maker.

    The home of the typical poor family was not overcrowded and was in good repair. In fact, the typical poor American had more living space than the average European. The typical poor American family was also able to obtain medical care when needed. By its own report, the typical family was not hungry and had sufficient funds during the past year to meet all essential needs.”


  2. Anon E. Mouse|9.17.14 @ 9:51AM|#
    “”Poverty” needs to be redefined.”

    Not to worry, it will be. Can’t have less than 20% in “poverty”! How are all the poverty pimps gonna keep their jobs?

    1. Notice that the new term is “food insecurity”, defined as someone who had to skip a meal during the year because they couldn’t afford to eat.

      Of course, the rhetoric is still stuck on “people literally starving in the streets”. But people are starting to wonder why they never see these roving gangs of desperately hungry people lining the sidewalks.

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