Released on Tuesday, the Census Bureau’s annual report flashed a dismal economic outlook, showing that U.S. poverty has exceeded 46 million people — nearly 1 in 6 Americans — and the number without health insurance spiking from 49 million to almost 50 million. As unemployment continues to hover around 9 percent, many Americans are financially exhausted, as the overall poverty rate reached 15.1 percent, up from the 14.3 percent recorded the previous year. The number of Americans now below the poverty line is the highest number recorded since 1959, when the Census first started analyzing such data.
Bruce Meyer, a public policy professor at the University of Chicago, warns that poverty levels may further escalate, as the demand for food stamps rises and a "staggeringly high" number of Americans are becoming unemployed for more than 26 weeks. Professor Meyer notes that more than 6 million people are categorized as "long-term unemployed," and are more susceptible to falling into poverty.
Last year’s median household income was $49,445, a 2.3 percent decrease from 2009.
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