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 2016, with an amount of 22 percent of the Black population with an income below the poverty line. In comparison to that, only 8.8 percent of the White (non-Hispanic) population, were living below the poverty line in 2016.
Children are one of the most poverty endangered population groups in the U.S. between 1990 and 2016. Child poverty peaked in 1993 with 18 percent of children living in poverty in that year in the United States. Between 2000 and 2010, the child poverty rate in the United States has been increasing every year; however, in the recent years, there is a trend of decline, reaching 18 percent in 2016.
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 2016 (about 5.44 million citizens), the state of Minnesota had a poverty rate of roughly 8 percent (about 470,000 citizens).