It’s official: The poor are getting poorer.
A record 46 million Americans were living below the poverty line in 2010, according to a report released Tuesday by the US Census Bureau. That means a household income of $22,113 for a family of four. The national poverty rate of 15.1 percent was the highest it’s been since 1993.
Those numbers have likely gotten even worse in the past year, the New York Times notes, calling the data “fresh evidence that the sluggish economic recovery has done nothing for the country’s poorest citizens.”
A large number of senior citizens are clinging to Social Security to stay afloat, USA Today points out. If Social Security payments were excluded from income, the number of Americans over 65 living in poverty would be 14 million higher.
The middle class isn’t exactly flourishing either. Median household income was $49,400, a decrease of 2.3% in real terms.
Meanwhile, the number of people without health insurance rose by nearly a million from the year before, to about 50 million, though the percentage was essentially unchanged. The increase was largely due to workers losing employer-provided insurance. Many key provisions of President Obama’s health care program don’t take effect until 2014.