Tuesday, September 13, 2011

More Americans below poverty line than 10 years ago

Gap between top and lowest earners larger

Washington – Median American household income dropped to a lower point than a decade ago, according to the Census Bureau, leaving 15.1 percent of Americans living below the poverty line.

In the 52 years the government has published such figures, last year is the first with a higher number than the previous decade, with 46.2 million living below the official poverty line of $22,314 for a family of four – 2.6 million more than in 2009.

“This is truly a lost decade," said Professor Lawrence Katz, a Harvard University economics professor.

Joblessness was the main culprit pushing more Americans into poverty.

About 48 million people ages 18 to 64 did not work even one week out of the year, up from 45 million in 2009.

The past decade was also marked by a growing gap between the very top and very bottom of the income ladder. Median household income for the bottom tenth of the income spectrum fell by 12 percent from a peak in 1999, while the top 90th percentile dropped by just 1.5 percent.

No comments:

Post a Comment