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Poverty spikes to record highs in US

May 9, 2011


The number of American people living in poverty has soared to record-high levels, with African Americans suffering the bulk of the economic hardship in the US, reports say.

According to the US Census Bureau, an astonishing 47 million Americans out of a population of about 310 million live in poverty in the Unites States, a number equivalent to one out of every seven people, a Press TV correspondent in Washington reported on Saturday.

Statistics indicate that poverty rates for African-Americans and Latinos are close to three times that of White Americans. African Americans suffered disproportionally during the recession with unemployment rates in that community reaching near depression levels.

According to the latest US Labor Department figures, overall jobless rates across the US fell to a better-than-expected 8.8 percent in March, but the unemployment rate for black teenagers, for instance, stood at 50 percent — more than double the national jobless average for all teenagers.

In January, figures released by the US Census Bureau stated that one in five children in the United States live in poverty, with almost half of them living in extreme poverty.

The vast disproportion in poverty rates between African Americans and whites as well as the spike in poverty rates among American children have raised serious doubts over the efficacy of the social programs under the administration of President Barack Obama.

“We would certainly be concerned that the demographic population trend would only exacerbate what we see currently in terms of more need for social services rather than less.” Jeremy Rosen of National Law Center on Poverty told Press TV.

Meanwhile, a report by the Deloitte Center for Financial Services showed that in 2011, the number of US millionaires will grow to nine percent of all households.

The report says the total number of families with a net worth of over $1 million, including real estate, will double by 2020, while the wealth of US millionaire households is projected to increase nearly 225 percent by the end of the decade.

Many analysts believe America’s middle class is fading along with the American dream of home ownership while the rich get richer as the poor get poorer.

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