The US Census has published its report Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010.
Here is the historical chart:
Interesting highlights from the report:
- The official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent—up from 14.3 percent in 2009. This was the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate. Since 2007, the poverty rate has increased by 2.6 percentage points, from 12.5 percent
to 15.1 percent
- In 2010, 46.2 million people were in poverty, up from 43.6 million in 2009—the fourth consecutive annual increase in the number of people in poverty.
- The poverty rate in 2010 (15.1 percent) was the highest poverty rate since 1993 but was 7.3 percentage points lower than the poverty rate in 1959, the first year for which poverty estimates are available.
I also found it interesting that by age group the poverty rate is lowest (9%) for people 65 years and older, the only age range for whom the poverty rate has fallen almost consistently since 1959:
For more historical and economical context see US Poverty Rate – How the Great Society Programs Reversed its Decline