American Poverty Level Increases Slightly

September 21, 2012 at 11:09 am

The United States Census Bureau released the results of their 2011 American Community Survey 1-year estimates this week.  The study, conducted every year to help communities understand how they need to invest and grow.  The survey also plays a crucial role in distributing over $400 million in federal and state funds.

The initial briefs on the data and estimates show that the poverty rate in the United States increase to 15.9% percent of the U.S. population in 2011.  This represents a 0.6%  increase in poverty from 2010.  As for North Carolina, the poverty rate increase to 17.9%, but the recorded change was statistically insignificant.

While an increase in poverty is bad news for America’s recovering economy, the report did have a silver lining.  The majority of states were like North Carolina and did not experience statistically significant changes in their poverty level. This did not occur in the 2010-2009 study or the 2009-2008 study.

Additionally, the nation at large only experienced a 0.6% increase from 2010 to 2011.  This represents a significant decrease from the full percentage point increases that the U.S. sustained between 2008-2009 and 2009-2010.

When you analyze the information in this light, it seems that the U.S. is on a trend towards recovery.  While more people are still finding themselves living in poverty each year, this number is starting to decrease and show signs of a recovering economy.  Hopefully groups will be able to look at this information and start to identify those programs that are helping keep American families out of poverty.

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Entry filed under: Economic Development, Economy, Jobs & Employment.

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