VOA News – US Poverty Rate Declines, but Number Without Health Insurance Increases
A new U.S. Census Bureau report shows that the poverty rate in the United States has gone down slightly for the first time this decade. VOA’s Cindy Saine reports from Washington that the 2006 report also has some bad news for American families, with more people living without health insurance and children making up the bulk of the nation’s poor.
In 2006, the U.S. national poverty rate decreased to 12.3 percent, from 12.6 percent a year earlier. This means that last year some 36.5 million Americans were living below the poverty line, defined as having an annual income of about $10,000 for an individual or $20,000 for a family of four.
Median household income rose, to more than $48,000 a year, but the Census Bureau said more people in each household had to work to account for that increase.