One of the most fascinating parts of the fantastic new interactive chart on U.S. poverty from Demos is the timeline—move the marker from 1967 to 2010 and get a visual blast of just how poverty rates in this nation have shifted—ultimately, increasing—as the fruit of the nation’s growing economy has been sucked up by the top one percent.
In 1967, 14.5 percent of Americans were poor, living on less than $17,400 for a family of three. In 2010, the last year for which data is available, that percentage is 15.2—some 46.1 million Americans in poverty. The chart includes data on those in “deep poverty,” defined as a family of three living on less than $8,700 per year. In 2010, 6.8 percent of the U.S. population was deeply poor—20.5 million people—and you know a lot of them are children.
As part of a recent symposium,“Understanding and Addressing Poverty in the 21st Century,” Demos, a progressive policy tank in New York, created the interactive poverty chart. You can find poverty rates by overall population as well as by race and ethnicity, gender, education, age and family type. A few findings from the 2010 data:
- Whites made up 42 percent of all Americans in poverty.
- 30 percent of those with less than a high school degree live in poverty.
- The largest age group for people living in poverty is among the most vulnerable: children age five and younger.
Be sure to check out the poverty tracker and stop back at Demos’ website to watch the archived video of the conference on poverty, which featured top journalists, including New York Times columnist Bob Herbert and Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne.