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US Poverty

One in seven living in poverty in US

One in 7 Americans is now classified as ‘poor’, the highest level in more than 50 years.

ONE IN SEVEN AMERICANS last year lived in homes earning below the poverty level – the highest number for over 50 years.

The poverty level is set at an income of about $22,000 (€16,700) a year for a family of four, according to the Washington Post.

The Census Bureau figures show that 43.6m people in America are in poverty, millions more are on the verge of falling below the poverty level.

The recession has taken its toll, with almost four million people lost their jobs since 2007. 3.8m more people lived in poverty last year in comparison with 2008.

NPR reports that aid groups are calling on the government to continue stimulus plan targeting low-income families because people still rely on them, but critics of the programmes say that the increase in single-parent household payments is draining resources.

The Census figures show an increase in the number of people who moved back home to better cope with a change in finances.

The director of the Institute for Poverty Research at the University of Wisconsin, Timothy M Smeeding, said there was a dramatic increase in poverty for the 25-34 age group.

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