Poverty and Income in the United States - Statistics & Facts

Poverty and Income in the United States - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts on poverty and income in the United States

The United States is widely criticized for the high percentage of Americans living in poverty and, by recent statistics, these criticisms hold weight. Figures show that the rate of poverty has only increased in the United States since the turn of the century. In 2012 there were 9.5 million American families living in poverty, up from 6.4 million in 2000.


Over half of American households had an annual income of less than 50,000 U.S. dollars in 2012, while over a quarter of all households were bringing in less than 25,000 U.S. dollars a year. Of those Americans living in poverty, almost a quarter were children. The United States currently ranks among the countries with the highest instances of children living in poverty.

The repercussions of this problem do not solely affect the poverty-stricken and the government. Studies show that more and more Americans consider there to be a problem between the rich and poor of America. New York State recently ranked as the state with the widest gap between rich and poor. Nearly 18 percent of families in New York City were living in poverty in 2011.

Despite increasing rates of poverty, most Americans still support the free market system currently in place. American political attitudes tend to hold self-reliance in high regard, with many viewing this quality as quintessentially American. The concepts of the “American dream” and the American “self-made man” emerged in various ways over the last centuries as the nation quite rapidly developed into a world super power, presumably on the backs of its citizens. This may partially explain the reluctance of more financially secure Americans to reboot current economic policies.



Picture: istockphoto.com / hronos7, rockz



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