Poverty Rate Soars to Highest Level Since 1993

As poverty in the United States climbed to 46.2 million people last year – the highest number since the Census Bureau began publishing figures on it 52 years ago – “[m]inorities were hardest hit. Blacks experienced the highest poverty rate, at 27 percent, up from 25 percent in 2009, and Hispanics rose to 26 percent from 25 percent. For whites, 9.9 percent lived in poverty, up from 9.4 percent in 2009.” Sabrina Tavernise, Poverty Rate Soars to Highest Level Since 1993, N.Y. Times, Sept. 14, 2011, at A1. The increases were even greater in New York City. Sam Roberts, As Effects of Recession Linger, Growth in City’s Poverty Rate Outpaces the Nation’s, N.Y. Times, Sept. 22, 2011, at A23.

As was also recently pointed out, the Occupy Wall Street “protesters picked the right city in which to start their campaign. Among the 1 percent of American households with the highest income, a significant portion, 13 percent, live in the New York metropolitan area, with 4.4 percent living in Manhattan, according to an analysis by Andrew A. Beveridge, a sociologist at Queens College.” Sam Roberts, As the Data Show, There’s a Reason the Protesters Chose New York, N.Y. Times, Oct. 26, 2011, at A23.

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