Increasing poverty, decreasing health coverage: new Census Report findings

The recently released (9/16/2010) 2009 Census Report found striking evidence of our ongoing Great Recession:

  • An increase in the nation’s poverty rate to 14.3% — according to the press release, “the second statistically significant annual increase in the poverty rate since 2004” and the highest percentage of total poverty since 1994. That’s 44 million individuals, or about one in every seven Americans.


  • An increase in the number of Americans currently without health insurance, from 46.3 million (2008) to 50.7 million in 2009.

That’s approximately 4,400,000 individuals without access to standard care, including many children and individuals with special health care needs.  And although real median income did not change substantially between 2008 and 2009, it did decline for specific groups (including non-Hispanic Whites and Blacks). It changed by region, as well — here in the Midwest, real median income declined by about 2.1%.

At the same time, analysts concur that the news could be worse: many individuals who fell on hard times have been staying with other family members–the Census  found an 11.6 percent increase in “multifamily households” over the past 2 years.

And in the even-more-bad-news category: women continue to make 77% for every dollar that men make (for more information on fair pay in America, see the National Women’s Law Center:

For factsheests on poverty and health insurance from the Census Bureau, click here: