About This Statistic
This graph shows the poverty rate in the United States among all people from 1990 to 2015. 11.3 percent of the population were living below the poverty line in 2000. In 2015, the poverty rate was 13.5 percent in the U.S.
Poverty in the United States
As shown in the statistic above, the poverty rate among all people living in the Unites States has shifted within the last 15 years.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines poverty as follows: “Absolute poverty measures poverty in relation to the amount of money necessary to meet basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. The concept of absolute poverty is not concerned with broader quality of life issues or with the overall level of inequality in society.”
The poverty rate in the United States varies widely across different ethnic groups. Black Americans are the ethnic group with the most people living in poverty in 2015, with an amount of 24.1 percent of the Black population with an income below the poverty line. In comparison to that, only 9.1 percent of the White (non-Hispanic) population, were living below the poverty line in 2012.
Children are one of the most poverty endangered population groups in the U.S. between 1990 and 2015. The child poverty peaked in 1993 with 22.7 percent of the children living in poverty in that year in the United States. Since 2000, the child poverty rate in the United States has been significantly increasing every year, from 16.2 percent in 2000 to 19.7 percent in 2015.
Poverty rates among older adults are also dependent of their health status. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that, in year 2009, 34.3 percent of older adults with a poor health status were living near poverty.
The number of people living in poverty in the U.S. varies from state to state. Compared to California, where about 13.9 percent of the population were living in poverty in 2015 (about 5.44 million citizens), the state of Minnesota is doing rather well with a poverty rate of roughly 7.8 percent (about 428,000 citizens)