One in seven Americans is living in poverty

Posted on September 16, 2010

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One in seven Americans is living in poverty, the highest number in the half-century that the government has kept such statistics, the Census Bureau announced Thursday.

Last year was the third consecutive year that the poverty rate climbed, in part because of the recession, rising from 13.2 percent in 2008 to 14.3 percent, or 43.6 million people, last year.

In addition, 51 million Americans were uninsured, as the number of people with health insurance dropped from 255 million to less than 254 million — the first decrease since the government started keeping track in 1987.

The number would have been worse because 6.5 million fewer people got insurance through their jobs, but it was offset by a leap in government-backed health insurance. More than 30 percent of Americans now get coverage from the government.

One in seven Americans is living in poverty, Census shows.

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