More Poor people in the USA

Chris Brady cdbrady at
Wed Sep 3 14:38:34 MDT 2003

Census survey finds nearly 1.4 mill in poverty in 2002

Wednesday, September 3, 2003

WASHINGTON (AP) - Nearly 1.4 million more people in
the United States fell into poverty last year - almost
half of them children - even as the country emerged
from recession, according to a Census Bureau survey.

About 12.4 percent of the population, or nearly 34.8
million people, lived in poverty in 2002, according to
the bureau's American Community Survey that was to be
released Wednesday. That was up from 12.1 percent, or
33.4 million, in 2001.

Roughly 17.2 percent of children, or 12.2 million,
lived in poverty in 2002, up from 16.4 percent, or
about 11.5 million, in 2001.

Median household income rose by $51, when accounting
for inflation, to $43,057 after a similarly slight
drop the previous year, when the nation was in
recession from March to November. Median income refers
to the point at which half of households earn more and
half earn less.

Robert Greenstein, executive director of the
liberal-leaning Center for Budget and Policy
Priorities, blamed the increase in poverty on rising
unemployment and the government's failure to promote
more child tax credits for low-income families and
stronger unemployment insurance.

"People at the bottom tend to live paycheck to
paycheck," Greenstein said. "This underscores that in
trying to stimulate the economy, we should probably be
doing more to assist low-income working families
affected by the downturn."


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