View Full Version : Poverty Figures May Be Wrong

12-20-2011, 05:07 PM
News stories saying 50 percent of Americans are low-income or in poverty may be wrong, Census analysts in LA said

You may have heard worried news reports that 50 percent of Americans had either fallen into poverty or are considered low income.

But while poverty in the United States is certainly an important issue, those figures appear to be wrong, perhaps based on a misunderstanding of the data by journalists who did not go back to the source to doublecheck their figures, said analysts at the U.S. Census Bureau district office in Los Angeles.

NBCLA worked with three data analysts at the Census Bureau to check the data, and the real figures do indeed appear to be quite different.

According to the latest Census data, about 49.9 million Americans - about 13.8 percent - are living below the poverty line. Another 53.8 million - about 18 percent - are considered low income because they earn less than twice the poverty level.

That's a total of 31.8 percent, far lower than the dramatic figure of 50 percent that was included in more than 300 online news reports, and multiple TV news broadcasts, including Thursday's "Today in LA."


Molon Labe
12-20-2011, 07:42 PM
There are valid reports of at least 40 million American's on food stamps.

12-20-2011, 09:50 PM
There are valid reports of at least 40 million American's on food stamps.

The poverty numbers are a red herring.

12-20-2011, 10:44 PM
Cost of living varies region to region. Living on the West or East Coast is more expensive than the Midwest and South. As a result, definition of poverty varies.

12-20-2011, 11:09 PM
I was poor once. It was horrible, and I didn't think I would ever work my way out of it. But I did.

I see poor - really poor - people all the time. It wears on them. You can see it. Most of the time being poor can be traced back to poor support or representation by the family of the victim. No one coached the individual properly or set a proper example, and usually the family had inherited being poor from their family. It is simply handed down.

Regardless of how many there are, it is too many. America is still The Land Of Opportunity, but the message has been forgotten. And I don't know what to do about that.:(