U.S. Poverty on Track to Rise to Highest Since 1960s

Religion Today | Monday, July 23, 2012

U.S. Poverty on Track to Rise to Highest Since 1960s


Poverty in America is on track to rise to levels unseen in nearly half a century, Fox News reports. Census figures for 2011 will be released this fall, and in a recent survey of more than a dozen economists, think tanks and academics -- nonpartisan, liberal and conservative alike -- the Associated Press found a broad consensus that the official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent. Several predicted a smaller increase, but even a 0.1 percentage point increase would put poverty at the highest since 1965. Demographers also predict that poverty will remain above the pre-recession level of 12.5 percent for many more years, that suburban poverty -- already at a record level of 11.8 percent -- will increase again in 2011, that part-time or underemployed workers will rise to a new high, that child poverty will increase from its 22 percent level in 2010, and that the poorest poor -- defined as those at 50 percent or less of the poverty level -- will remain near its peak level of 6.7 percent.