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Census data: New Numbers Show Continued Need for Reform

For the second year in a row, official government statistics indicate a statistically-insignificant change in the number of Americans living the federal poverty line, leading one of the nation’s largest networks of social service providers to call on elected officials to change the status quo.

“The fact that 46.5 Americans still live under the poverty line should be a wake-up call,” said Father Larry Snyder, President of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA). “These numbers represent real people struggling to make ends meet and create a better life for themselves and their children. As a nation, we are called to do more.”

The official poverty index, released by the U.S. Census Bureau,showed 15 percent of Americans live below the federal poverty rate, which is defined as an annual income of $23,283 for a family of four. There were no statistically significant changes in poverty by family type, gender, or race. There was,however, a statistically significant change in the number of people 65 and older. They were the only age group whose poverty rate rose between 2011 and 2012. Also, of note, was the uninsured rate for children in poverty which was higher than the rate for children not in poverty.

To see the full CCUSA press release, please click here.