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U.S. Census Bureau Releases New Poverty Figures

The Census Bureau reports the number of Americans in poverty jumped to 15.1 percent in 2010, a 27-year high.

About 46.2 million people, or nearly 1 in 6, were in poverty. That’s up from 43.6 million, or 14.3 percent, in 2009. It was the highest level since 1983.

The number of people lacking health insurance increased to 49.9 million, a new high after revisions were made to 2009 figures. Losses were due mostly to working-age Americans who lost employer-provided insurance in the weak economy. Main provisions of the health overhaul don’t take effect until 2014.

The statistics released today cover 2010, when U.S. unemployment averaged 9.6 percent, up from 9.3 percent the previous year. The median — or midpoint — household income was $49,445, a 2.3 decline from 2009.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the threshold for a family four (two parents, two children) to be living in poverty is $22,190.  The poverty threshold for a single individual is $11,139.

Information from the Associated Press used in this report

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