Wednesday, November 14, 2012
There were nearly 50 million Americans living in poverty in 2011, under an alternative measure released by the Census Bureau
That's 16.1% of the nation, higher than the official poverty rate of 15%. The official rate, released in September 2012, showed 46.6 million people living in poverty. Work, medical and federal tax expenses drove more people into poverty, the report showed. These costs outweighed the benefit of non-cash public assistance, such as food stamps, housing assistance and refundable tax credits, which lifted many Americans out of poverty. The alternative measure showed the importance of Social Security and the weight of medical care on the elderly. Without Social Security, some 54.1% of Americans age 65-plus would be in poverty, as opposed to 15.1%.