Blog Action Day: Poverty – A National Perspective (5am)

In doing the research for this day, we found a ton of information, we’ve tried to keep it focused on Central Texas, but I thought it might be helpful to have the national context. We always think the grass is greener (NOT!)….

  • In 2006, 36.5 million people had incomes below the federal poverty level, making the official poverty rate 12.3 percent. (Source: Current Population Survey (CPS), 2007 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC), US Census Bureau).
  • 63% of U.S. families below the federal poverty line have one or more workers, according to the Census Bureau (Source: Michelle Conlin and Aaron Bernstein. “Working…and Poor”, Business Week, May 31, 2004).
  • 3.5 million full-time workers earned less than poverty-level wages. (Source: Thomas Z. Freedman. “How to Really Help Low-Wage Workers, The Washington Post, February 2, 2007).
  • More than 28 million people, about a quarter of the workforce between the ages of 18 and 64, earn less than $9.04 an hour, which translates into a full-time salary of $18,800 a year (Source: Michelle Conlin and Aaron Bernstein. “Working…and Poor”, Business Week, May 31, 2004).
  • One out of three households reported using credit cards to cover basic living expenses – including rent, mortgage payments, groceries, utilities and insurance. (Source: The Plastic Safety Net: The Reality Behind Debt in America, Demos and the Center for Responsible Lending, October 2005)
  • Generation Xers (individuals born between 1961 and 1981) are on track to be the first generation in American history with a lower standard of living than their parents’.
  • As many as one-third of working Americans don’t earn enough to meet their basic economic needs.

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