United States of Poverty
from David Ruccio
By the numbers:
- Approximately 45 million Americans were living in poverty in 2009.
- 2009 saw the largest single year increase in the U.S. poverty rate since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959.
- The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst (above only Turkey and Mexico) among the developed nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
- According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on a year-over-year basis, household participation in the food stamp program has increased 20.28 percent.
- The number of Americans on food stamps surpassed 41 million for the first time ever in June.
- Approximately 50 million Americans could not afford to buy enough food to stay healthy at some point during the last year.
- 1 out of every 6 Americans is now being served by at least one government anti-poverty program.
- More than 50 million Americans are now on Medicaid, the U.S. government health care program designed principally to help the poor.
- 1 out of every 7 mortgages in the United States was either delinquent or in foreclosure during the first quarter of 2010.
- Nearly 10 million Americans now receive unemployment insurance, which is almost four times as many as were receiving it in 2007.
- The number of Americans receiving long-term unemployment benefits has risen over 60 percent in just the past year.
- According to one recent survey, 28 percent of all U.S. households have at least one member that is looking for a full-time job.
- 1 out of every 5 children in the United States is now living in poverty.