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Census: Nation's poor, uninsured swell to record levels

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  • Census: Nation's poor, uninsured swell to record levels

    September 13, 2011

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The ranks of the nation's poor swelled to nearly 1 in 6 people last year, reaching a new high as long-term unemployment woes left millions of Americans struggling and out of work. The number of uninsured edged up to 49.9 million, the biggest in over two decades.

    The Census Bureau's annual report released Tuesday offers a snapshot of the economic well-being of U.S. households for 2010, when joblessness hovered above 9 percent for a second year. It comes at a politically sensitive time for President Barack Obama, who has acknowledged in the midst of a re-election fight that the unemployment rate could persist at high levels through next year.

    The overall poverty rate climbed to 15.1 percent, or 46.2 million, up from 14.3 percent in 2009.

    Reflecting the lingering impact of the recession, the U.S. poverty rate from 2007-2010 has now risen faster than any three-year period since the early 1980s, when a crippling energy crisis amid government cutbacks contributed to inflation, spiraling interest rates and unemployment.

    Measured by total numbers, the 46 million now living in poverty is the largest on record dating back to when the census began tracking poverty in 1959. Based on percentages, it tied the poverty level in 1993 and was the highest since 1983.

    Broken down by state, Mississippi had the highest share of poor people, at 22.7 percent, according to rough calculations by the Census Bureau. It was followed by Louisiana, the District of Columbia, Georgia, New Mexico and Arizona. On the other end of the scale, New Hampshire had the lowest share, at 6.6 percent.

    The share of Americans without health coverage rose from 16.1 percent to 16.3 percent — or 49.9 million people — after the Census Bureau made revisions to numbers of the uninsured. That is due mostly because of continued losses of employer-provided health insurance in the weakened economy.

    Congress passed a health overhaul last year to address rising numbers of the uninsured. While the main provisions don't take effect until 2014, one aspect taking effect in late 2010 allowed young adults 26 and younger to be covered under their parents' health insurance.

    Brett O'Hara, chief of the Health and Disability Statistics branch at the Census Bureau, noted that the uninsured rate declined — from 29.3 percent to 27.2 percent — for adults ages 18 to 24 compared to some other age groups.

    The median — or midpoint — household income was $49,445, down 2.3 percent from 2009.

    Bruce Meyer, a public policy professor at the University of Chicago, cautioned that the worst may yet to come in poverty levels, citing in part continued rising demand for food stamps this year as well as "staggeringly high" numbers in those unemployed for more than 26 weeks. He noted that more than 6 million people now represent the so-called long-term unemployed, who are more likely to fall into poverty, accounting for than two out of five currently out of work.

    Other census findings:

    —Poverty rose among all race and ethnic groups except Asians. The number of Hispanics in poverty increased from 25.3 percent to 26.6 percent; for blacks it increased from 25.8 percent to 27.4 percent, and Asians it was flat at 12.1 percent. The number of whites in poverty rose from 9.4 percent to 9.9 percent.

    —Child poverty rose from 20.7 percent to 22 percent.

    —Poverty among people 65 and older was statistically unchanged at 9 percent, after hitting a record low of 8.9 percent in 2009.

    Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    http://www.benefitspro.com/2011/09/1...to-record-leve
    Last edited by AngelinaCat; 09-13-2011, 07:27 PM. Reason: To bring in line with the specific formatting rules required for this board.

  • #2
    Dare I say none of this comes as a surprise...

    Comment


    • #3
      I am not surprised.
      Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
      Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
      Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


      I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

      Comment


      • #4
        ........................and there's no recession?.....................................how about a depression?

        Comment


        • #5
          Statistics are a bit iffy in my book - always have been - always will be.

          First, you have to know the actual pool of people/subjects drawn from to obtain numbers. While the census workers try to do a good job and get everyone - who do you think is avoiding answering questions?

          Next - when comparing over multiple years and monetary numbers, You need to know if those stats have been normalized - have they considered inflation, etc?

          Finally, What stats didnt they share?

          I guess is the scientist in me.

          Personally, i do find this surprising - I am surprised these numbers are not higher - but i never take stats for what they are saying.

          Take unemployment - how was unemployment actually calculated for this year? was it based off the number of people filing for benefits? How many people are still unemployed that cannot file for benefits because they have run out? How was the unemployment calculated 30 years ago? I assure you it wasnt the same way. President Obama even acknowledged that we recently changed how we calculate unemployment numbers.

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          • #6
            TBA, Shadowstats.com is the closest to the real numbers as they were calculated decades ago.

            Total unemployment is about 23% (Great Depression was 25% so we are almost there people). The U3 numbers are 9.1%.

            It used to be the politicians and media can lie about it and most of the sheep would buy it. They can no longer lie and cover this up anymore.

            We all pretty much know someone or several people in this bad situation. The lies aren't working as well as they used to.
            The essence of freedom is the proper limitation of Government

            Comment


            • #7
              Right banca rotta - Shadowstats.com is the ONLY way to go re stats about unemployment - the difference is between the US and EUR, is that in Spain unemployment is about 20% - but those are REAL numbers, and they have enough welfare (yes welfare) to keep people from living in boxes.

              By the way, I think again you're right - I'm beginning to hear on some news outlets, the real unemployment rate mentioned more and more...but then I listen to the BBC etc...

              Comment


              • #8
                I live in Arizona--one of the poorest states in the country--and you're right, everyone I know is poor right now. Everywhere I look, I see businesses closing, vacant houses, foreclosure signs, and empty homes and businesses being bulldozed for the owner to save on property taxes. Everytime I go to a grocery store, at least one of the people in front of me pays with a foodstamp card and/or WIC vouchers. I see nothing but bad economic news everywhere here! So yeah, people are not "buying it" anymore that things are good--or even ok--in this country!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ah, I have relatives in Arizona and and it kills me because I see them as part of the 'lost decade' generation. They may never ever get back on their feet. Graduated college at the exact wrong time.

                  But I didn't realize Arizona was one of the poorest states in the country.

                  It's just heartbreaking, really. So perhaps this explains some of the whacky politics in Arizona. Funny, because it has all the things Texas is now bragging about--no unions, few regulations, low taxes, low public spending. Why is it so poor?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    10 Year Changes in Broad Economic Measures






                    Source: http://www.deptofnumbers.com/


                    Get a look at what went up and down in the last 10 years.
                    The essence of freedom is the proper limitation of Government

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      RIGHT - and let's be honest - add endless wars on top of this all, and it spells economic suicide.



                      Originally posted by banca rotta View Post





                      Source: http://www.deptofnumbers.com/


                      Get a look at what went up and down in the last 10 years.

                      Comment

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