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The 21 Key Statistics About The Explosive Growth Of Poverty In America

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

If the economy is getting better, then why does poverty in America continue to grow so rapidly?  Yes, the stock market has been hitting all-time highs recently, but also the number of Americans living in poverty has now reached a level not seen since the 1960s.  Yes, corporate profits are at levels never seen before, but so is the number of Americans on food stamps.  Yes, housing prices have started to rebound a little bit (especially in wealthy areas), but there are also more than a million public school students in America that are homeless.  That is the first time that has ever happened in U.S. history. 

So should we measure our economic progress by the false stock market bubble that has been inflated by Ben Bernanke's reckless money printing, or should we measure our economic progress by how the poor and the middle class are doing?  Because if we look at how average Americans are doing these days, then there is not much to be excited about.  In fact, poverty continues to experience explosive growth in the United States and the middle class continues to shrink.  Sadly, the truth is that things are not getting better for most Americans.  With each passing year the level of economic suffering in this country continues to go up, and we haven't even reached the next major wave of the economic collapse yet.  When that strikes, the level of economic pain in this nation is going to be off the charts.

The following are 21 statistics about the explosive growth of poverty in America that everyone should know...

1 - According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately one out of every six Americans is now living in poverty.  The number of Americans living in poverty is now at a level not seen since the 1960s.

2 - When you add in the number of low income Americans it is even more sobering.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either "poor" or "low income".

3 - Today, approximately 20 percent of all children in the United States are living in poverty.  Incredibly, a higher percentage of children is living in poverty in America today than was the case back in 1975.

4 - It may be hard to believe, but approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are currently living in homes that are either considered to be either "low income" or impoverished.

5 - Poverty is the worst in our inner cities.  At this point, 29.2 percent of all African-American households with children are dealing with food insecurity.

6 - According to a recently released report, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.

7 - The number of children living on $2.00 a day or less in the United States has grown to 2.8 million.  That number has increased by 130 percent since 1996.

8 - For the first time ever, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless.  That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.

9 - Family homelessness in the Washington D.C. region (one of the wealthiest regions in the entire country) has risen 23 percent since the last recession began.

10 - One university study estimates that child poverty costs the U.S. economy 500 billion dollars each year.

11 - At this point, approximately one out of every three children in the U.S. lives in a home without a father.

12 - Families that have a head of household under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

13 - Today, there are approximately 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing.  That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.

14 - About 40 percent of all unemployed workers in America have been out of work for at least half a year.

15 - At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.

16 - There has been an explosion in the number of "working poor" Americans in recent years.  Today, about one out of every four workers in the United States brings home wages that are at or below the poverty level.

17 - Right now, more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.  And that does not even include Social Security or Medicare.

18 - An all-time record 47.79 million Americans are now on food stamps.  Back when Barack Obama first took office, that number was only sitting at about 32 million.

19 - The number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the entire population of Spain.

20 - According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of "Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming."

21 - Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, close to one out of every six Americans is on food stamps.  Even more shocking is the fact that more than one out of every four children in the United States is enrolled in the food stamp program.

Unfortunately, all of these problems are a result of our long-term economic decline.  In a recent article for the New York Times, David Stockman, the former director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan, did a brilliant job of describing how things have degenerated over the last decade...

Since the S&P 500 first reached its current level, in March 2000, the mad money printers at the Federal Reserve have expanded their balance sheet sixfold (to $3.2 trillion from $500 billion). Yet during that stretch, economic output has grown by an average of 1.7 percent a year (the slowest since the Civil War); real business investment has crawled forward at only 0.8 percent per year; and the payroll job count has crept up at a negligible 0.1 percent annually. Real median family income growth has dropped 8 percent, and the number of full-time middle class jobs, 6 percent. The real net worth of the “bottom” 90 percent has dropped by one-fourth. The number of food stamp and disability aid recipients has more than doubled, to 59 million, about one in five Americans.

For the last couple of years, the U.S. economy has experienced a bubble of false hope that has been produced by unprecedented amounts of government debt and unprecedented money printing by the Federal Reserve.

Unfortunately, that bubble of false hope is not going to last much longer.  In fact, we are already seeing signs that it is getting ready to burst.

For example, initial claims for unemployment benefits shot up to 385,000 for the week ending March 30th.

That is perilously close to the 400,000 "danger level" that I keep warning about.  Once we cross the 400,000 level and stay there, it will be time to go into crisis mode.

In the years ahead, it is going to become increasingly difficult to find a job.  Just the other day I saw an article about an advertisement for a recent job opening at a McDonald's in Massachusetts that required applicants to have "one to two years experience and a bachelor's degree".

If you need a bachelor's degree for a job at McDonald's, then what in the world are blue collar workers going to do when the competition for jobs becomes really intense once the economy experiences another major downturn?

Do not be fooled by the fact that the Dow has been setting new all-time highs.  The truth is that we are in the midst of a long-term economic decline, and things are going to get a lot worse.  If you know someone that is not convinced of this yet, just share the following article with them: "Show This To Anyone That Believes That 'Things Are Getting Better' In America".

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Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:47 | 3413939 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Nothing serious but... The Portuguese constitutional court just ruled that 1.1 billion euros in cuts were unconstitutional...

Just saying.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:50 | 3413954 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

and even us people who try to give jobs to somebody without a college degree, we still get shut down by gov busybodies

makes you wonder



Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:51 | 3413962 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture



Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:05 | 3414017 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Maria just said gold is getting crushed.

It's only up $26.00 on the day.

What she is pleased to call, her mind.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:07 | 3414023 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Ok, I've just been doing some analysis on the 4 year chart of the S&P 500, and I have to say this is hands down the best chart I have ever seen. Firstly, there is a clear uptrend, with a steep trend line predicting at least 2000 by year end. Secondly, the MACD is positive, which is also a good sign. Then if you bring up a weekly or monthly chart there is a consistent series of higher highs and higher lows. All of these signals are strong buy indicators. The technicals are screaming buy, so if you don’t own stocks and you think it’s too late to get in, rest assured that stocks still have a long way to go.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:13 | 3414052 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

I heard the view was spectacular just before you slip past the event horizon and fall into the singularity.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 17:00 | 3414260 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

That may be true, but you have to wait until the end of time for that.

I ain't got that long.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 17:53 | 3414440 ronaldawg
ronaldawg's picture

eh - not MILLIONDOLLARBONER again - I read the comment and said "Wow, is he on crack" - then realized that he is only joking....

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 19:22 | 3414718 espirit
espirit's picture

I could have sworn that MDB said "Buy Gold Now!"

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:13 | 3414055 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Idiotic to claim a bachelors is required to work at McDonalds. 

If true, this is very depressing: 15 - At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 17:28 | 3414361 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Yes but there are also a lot of oportunities for people to make money outside of their careers. For example, Herbalife allows every day Americans to distribute their world class products and even offers it's distributors sweet rewards like fully paid-for holiday packages. Plus there are a multitude of ways to make money online using online marketing and even FX trading. Sure, you may be earning $10 an hour, but in the 21st century there are many ways for average Americans to supplement their incomes.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 19:31 | 3414734 espirit
espirit's picture

Right MDB, and for this very reason I only have to legally work part time.

It's easy to make extra monies selling guns, ammo, and drugs at the local black market just one day a week.  I pay no income taxes and easily take home over six figures a year, mostly in unmarked tens and twenties.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:15 | 3414063 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

MDB-this post is a bit lame. You can do much better. I've seen it. I know its Friday but come on man, I need some levity going into the weekend.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 17:21 | 3414282 Dick Buttkiss
Dick Buttkiss's picture

How can you say that, AB? MDB's penetrating analysis has persuaded me to take out a HELOC and go all in.

Wish Bushama could run for a fifth term, but at least Greenanke won't be leaving office, not with Janet Yellen all juiced up and ready to keep the printing presses humping.

Frankly, I don't know which is hotter, her or the economy:




Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:15 | 3414066 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"4-year chart"   LMFAO!  Not very much of a long term planner is he?   What's the the dollar buy now, compared with 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago?  What does an ounce of gold buy over the same time period?  What's does a "bit" purchase now, compared to the last year?

Yes buy stawks now, eat cat-food later.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 17:04 | 3414270 franzpick
franzpick's picture

I've been doing analysis on DJIA, SPX, NAZ, RUT and other indices, and I haven' seen a top like this in years. The transports failing to confirm other recent index highs, followed by key downside reversals in the broad indices, followed by 3 day, 3% drops in DAX, CAC and FTSE, and domestic index declines, all together indicate that equities are headed strongly lower where the Dec gaps will be filled with markets down 7% from this week's. highs.

Call it a very bearish MDB: Million Dollar Bet.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 17:18 | 3414332 resurger
resurger's picture

"Algo fuck yourself"

With that much money pumped every day, i have to agree with you ... Dow 36K will come... lol

As greenspan says, fuck the economy, the only thing that matters is the STAWKS reaching new highs..

so yeah, S&P will reach 2,000K and maybe 3K, i stopped trading this ponzi, and anyone with a right mind wont trade this as well. Because you know when they stop printing there is only PA and NPB,NPC,NPD,NPE,NPF ... etc.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 17:19 | 3414333 purplefrog
purplefrog's picture

Good to hear from you again you old chain puller. You're in good form as usual. It is fun to read your stuff.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 17:20 | 3414334 Abi Normal
Abi Normal's picture

Technicals you say?  Then why is the Helo guy printing $85 billion a month and buying our own debt and mortgage backed securities...at least that is the amount we know about.  Ya, everything is roses according to you, who is your inside guy/gal?  I know for sure, very soon, you will eat your words, cause this ponzi is gonna fail BIG TIME.  Just a matter of when...

On the other hand, sometimes optimism is a bad thing after all, problem is it is misplaced here.  Fake money, fake pols, fake govt, fake economy, as all that they are built on is fake FIAT.

Print MOAR Ben, gotta keep MillionDollarBollocs happy aye!

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 18:24 | 3414511 zerotohero
zerotohero's picture

your like watching paint dry dude

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 20:00 | 3414843 RealeyesRealize
RealeyesRealize's picture

Give me a break MDB everything you just said can be added to the list of why I would SELL the "best looking chart ever".  Tell your employer they ain't foolin us.  Any real trader or technical analyst would tell you we're top heavy as shit right now.  If I shorted stocks, it would be a good play.  I'd also fire you for thinking that.  Actually maybe keep you around to sell when you're bull, buy when bear if you will.

In all seriousness, the S&P is not a penny stock where you can just paint the chart.  Fundamentals should be number one with major indices; not technicals.  Fundamentally speaking, I think we can all agree it's not so bullish.  The fundamentals do not support the techincals. 

I still question the sincerity of your post(s).

Sat, 04/06/2013 - 02:34 | 3415596 Fiat Envy
Fiat Envy's picture

MDB I've just got to say.  With your razor sharp mind you earned every cent of that bonus.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:10 | 3414019 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

We need to have more compassion as a society. The rise in poverty has been associated with a blind worship of the ‘free market’ and deregulation. When will we learn that trickle down economics doesn’t work?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:13 | 3414057 WhyDoesItHurtWh...
WhyDoesItHurtWhen iPee's picture

Huh, ... you almost sounded human.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:15 | 3414058 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

"When will we learn that trickle down economics doesn’t work?"

Probably at the same time you learn that Keynesian economics doesn't work.

At that time a new universe will be created due to the impact of matter and anti-matter.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 17:20 | 3414339 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Barrys trickle up poverty plan is working just fine.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:58 | 3414256 bnbdnb
bnbdnb's picture

QE = Trickle down economics.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 17:22 | 3414344 purplefrog
purplefrog's picture

Are you having as much fun writing this stuff as we do reading it?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:52 | 3413966 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

That would force them to make another troika deal... neat.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:05 | 3414022 Calidreaming
Calidreaming's picture

"Show this to anyone that is not convinced "

I just showed this article to the Bernank  and he laughed at me.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:28 | 3414121 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

I not only live i poverty, but also in filth.  They seem to go together

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 17:54 | 3414442 Abi Normal
Abi Normal's picture

I'm just about ready to experience homelessness, so I will find out very soon how bad that is I guess!  If I didnt have a wife and two great kids, I think I could handle it...

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:48 | 3413942 mdtrader
mdtrader's picture

Markets ready to go green

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:53 | 3413969 ACP
ACP's picture

Just hitting the stops so they take take it down on Monday.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:50 | 3413943 tallen
tallen's picture

ES Ramp into the close again, up now 6pts on ES Futures since 3:30

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:50 | 3413961 mdtrader
mdtrader's picture

Will be smashed lower on Monday morning in Asia. They won't believe the luck being able to sell at better than when the NFP number came out.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:03 | 3414008 I Am Not a Copp...
I Am Not a Copper Top's picture

Kevin Henry should be fired for this epic fail of a ramp job

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:50 | 3413949 venturen
venturen's picture

Because if you average the trillions given to the rich and wall street against enforced poverty things are on average better....blankfiend and buffet are doing great....the people unemployed for 5 years(or whose pay was cut 50%) or lost their life saving inthe market(no government bailiout for them) or whose house was taken durig the low...not so well!

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:59 | 3413991 oleander garch
oleander garch's picture

Why would anyone suppose that America - represnted by the working man's party in the White House and Senate - would ever do anything for working people?  I have a dream, said Robert Rubin and we have a nightmare.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:50 | 3413950 I Am Not a Copp...
I Am Not a Copper Top's picture

Quick, act surprised

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:51 | 3413959 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

My TeeVee said to buy stocks, watch basketball, and find out what's new with Kim Kardashian's ass. Stop distracting us from what's important.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:33 | 3414154 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

So true. Pass the doritos.

Sat, 04/06/2013 - 02:25 | 3415591 Parrotile
Parrotile's picture

Owing to "financial constraints" (aka austerity measures) Dorito consumption is now only acceptable during "Special Occasions".  Only the cheapest available Store "Own Brand" versions will be for general use.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:52 | 3413964 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Barry and his handouts.  Nice job Barry.


Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:54 | 3413967 venturen
venturen's picture

But on the bright side...bonuses are up on Wall Street, house prices are exploding in the the money printing and final allocator of your money Washington DC. Politics has never had so much money as they are bribed for every decision.... And Finally Jamie Dimon and Jon Corzine are rich, crooked and free!

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:51 | 3413968 q99x2
q99x2's picture

They may be poor but at least they aren't banksters. They are decent people and some of the most willing to join the revolution. A lot of them bought bitcoin at $5 and are holding out until the price hits $10,000

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:49 | 3414227 GFKjunior
GFKjunior's picture

It's going to be a wild ride to $10,000 but it will happen. 

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:55 | 3413972 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Overall theme here today seems to be 'no shit, Sherlock'.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:55 | 3413977 bonzo112358
bonzo112358's picture

So QE infinity is spurring growth then.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:19 | 3414085 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Don't let Dr. Krugfart know, he'll try to take all the credit.

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