Poverty conveys the impression of individuals and families struggling to afford basic sustenance, shelter and education. Nothing that we should be concerned about then, since our status as the richest country in the world precludes the possibility of this phenomena existing in our society. Right? Sadly, no.
A 2008 U.S. Census Bureau/American Community Survey revealed that over 39 million Americans are currently living in poverty. 13.2% of our fellow citizens are living below the poverty threshold. One in ten of us are struggling to feed, clothe, educate and shelter ourselves. It gets worse.
A September 2011 study (Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010) commissioned by the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that the national poverty rate has risen to an astounding 15.1% (43.6 million), the highest since poverty rates were published in 1959.
More alarmingly, 22% of our children (18 and below) are now living in poverty! These numbers have been steadily increasing for years, and make no mistake; it WILL affect our future as a nation. The malnutrition, lack of education and psychological issues will follow these children into adulthood, and increase the likelihood of social alienation and generational poverty.
Excerpts from Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010
... 46.2 million people were in poverty, up from 43.6 million in 2009 - the fourth consecutive annual increase...
... poverty rate increased for non-Hispanic Whites (from 9.4 percent to 9.9 percent), for Blacks (from 25.8 percent to 27.4 percent), and for Hispanics (from 25.3 percent to 26.6 percent). For Asians, the 2010 poverty rate (12.1 percent) was not statistically different from the 2009 poverty rate
... Since unrelated individuals under 15 are excluded from the poverty universe, there are 422,000 fewer children in the poverty universe than in the total civilian noninstitutionalized population...