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PRRAC Research Briefs, September 19, 2011

More reflections on the 2010 poverty data

Canaries in the coal mine: Census data show long-term financial distress among people of color, by Alexandra Cawthorne

The U.S. Census Bureau data released on Tuesday paint a grim picture of growing economic turmoil in American households over the last several years since the beginning of the Great Recession. Although experts tell us the recession officially ended back in 2009, the number of people living in poverty in the United States in 2010-46.2 million-is the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published. And we will not likely see that number peak until the middle of this decade. More than 15 percent, or one in every six Americans, are currently struggling to make ends meet at or below the poverty line. What's more, a record 20 million Americans are now living in deep poverty (defined as living below 50 percent of the poverty line). That's less than $11,000 a year for a family of four. Read more...

Four new studies on race and poverty trends, by Kami Kruckenberg and Philip Tegeler

Several recent studies on poverty and inequality, using five years of data from the American Community Survey, help to provide context to the 2010 poverty data released this month. Taken together, these studies illustrate the persistent disproportionate racial impact of poverty in America, rising numbers of African American and Latino families living in high poverty neighborhoods, and alarming increases in overall poverty and wealth inequality. We provide quick summaries of four of these reports below. Read more...

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