Tuesday, August 30, 2005

U.S. poverty rate rises; ranks of poor whites expand


The U.S. poverty rate rose in 2004, driven by an increase in the number of poor non-Hispanic whites, while the median income for Americans as a whole remained stable, the government said on Tuesday.

The percentage of the U.S. population living in poverty rose to 12.7 percent from 12.5 percent in 2003, as 1.1 million more people slipped into poverty last year, the Census Bureau said in its annual poverty report.

The ranks of the poor rose to 37.0 million, up from 35.9 million the previous year, the report said.

The poverty rate rose for only one group -- non-Hispanic whites -- which had an 8.6 percent poverty rate for 2004 compared with 8.2 percent in 2003. The poverty rate declined for Asians and remained unchanged for blacks and Hispanics, the report showed.

The real median household income in 2004 totaled $44,389, flat from 2003 and marking the second consecutive year in which income showed no change.

Black households had the lowest median income among race groups, at $30,134, while Asian households had the highest, at $57,518. The median-income for non-Hispanic white households was $48,977 and was $34,241 for Hispanic households.

Income was unchanged in each census region except the U.S. Midwest, where it declined 2.8 percent to $44,657, the report said.

US poverty rate continues to rise

U.S. incomes treading water


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