With one of every seven Americans — and 20% of all U.S. children — now officially impoverished, the nation is finally back to the official level of poors last seen during the 1992-1994 recession. Unofficially, the number is at least twice that high, as “experts think that people who are getting by on as much as twice the official poverty line should nonetheless be considered poor.” In either case, things are terrible but they’re also getting much worse.
The New York Times reports on the latest batch of sad-panda Census data:
Forty-four million people in the United States, or one in seven residents, lived in poverty in 2009, an increase of 4 million from the year before, the Census Bureau reported on Thursday.
The poverty rate climbed to 14.3 percent — the highest level since 1994 — from 13.2 percent in 2008. The rise was steepest for children, with one in five residents under 18 living below the official poverty line, the bureau said.
With home foreclosures at a new three-year high and another 5 million Americans without health care (that’s 51 million total, for now), the Great Recession Recovery continues to be nearly as “great” as the recession itself. [NYT]