U.S. Poverty Rate Rises to 16% in Alt Census Data

SOS

ONA
Wackbag Staff
Aug 14, 2000
48,268
8,905
1,038
USA
#1
Business Week

U.S. Poverty Rate Rises to 16% in Alternative Census Data
November 07, 2011, 1:47 PM EST

By Esmé E. Deprez

Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- More Americans, and a greater percentage of the elderly, were poor in 2010 than the U.S. Census Bureau estimated in September, new figures from the agency show.

The bureau used an alternate method to calculate that 16 percent of Americans, or 49.1 million people, lived in poverty in 2010, up from the official rate of 15.2 percent, or 46.6 million, according to a report released today. The new measure put the proportion of indigent Americans 65 and older at 15.9 percent, an increase from the official 9 percent rate. Among those under 18, the new rate was 18.2 percent, a drop from the official rate of 22.5 percent.

The new Supplemental Poverty Measure is a “more complex statistic,” showing how much families spend on food, shelter, clothing and utilities, the bureau said. It finds that medical out-of-pocket expenses have the largest proportional effect on disposable income of any expense or benefit, and takes into account how geographic differences can alter housing costs.

“It is important to have a measure that can accurately tell us what’s going on and -- especially in tough times -- it is critical that we know what programs really help lift individuals and families out of poverty,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. The new measure “brings us one step closer to giving us the tools we need to fight this ongoing challenge.”

Across Most Groups

Most groups saw their poverty rates increase using the new calculations compared with the official count, including married couples, whites, Asians, those born outside the U.S., homeowners with mortgages and those with private health insurance. Rates fell for blacks, renters, people living outside metropolitan areas, those living in the Midwest and the South and those covered by only public health insurance.

The new methodology contrasts with the one the bureau has used since the 1960s, which determines the official poverty line by tripling a family’s minimum annual food budget. That method fails to accurately reflect economic realities by excluding expenses such as payroll taxes, which reduce disposable income, and public programs such as food stamps, which free resources, the Census Bureau said, citing an independent study from 1995.

Today’s data “will provide a deeper understanding of economic conditions and policy effects,” according to the bureau. It won’t be used to assess eligibility for government programs, the bureau said.

Family of Four

The annual income at which a family of four -- two adults and two children -- is considered living in poverty was $24,343 in 2010 under the supplemental measure calculations. That compares with the official figure of $22,113 for the same year.

New York’s mayor, who is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, said the bureau’s new calculations were based on methods pioneered by the city’s Center for Economic Opportunity in 2008.

Official numbers, which the bureau reported in September, showed the proportion of people living in poverty climbing to 15.1 percent last year from 14.3 percent in 2009, the highest level since 1993. The 15.1 percent figure didn’t include unrelated individuals under the age of 15 living in the household.

The ranks of people in poverty, about one in seven Americans, are the highest in the 52 years since the bureau began gathering that statistic.

The September data also showed median household income declined 2.3 percent in 2010 to $49,445, down from $50,599 the year before. That was even as the U.S. economy expanded 3 percent in 2010.

Those figures were part of an annual report on income, poverty and health insurance released by the Census Bureau. The data are based on a survey of about 100,000 addresses that’s used as the primary source of figures about the nation’s labor force.

--With assistance from Frank Bass and Catherine Dodge in Washington. Editors: Mark McQuillan, Flynn McRoberts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Esmé E. Deprez in New York at edeprez@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net
 
Dec 8, 2004
49,485
21,309
693
Maine
#3
Yep I'm doing a website (for free) for a local community help place... and their numbers are way up.
 

LiddyRules

I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy
Jun 1, 2005
143,292
50,554
644
#4
Yep I'm doing a website (for free) for a local community help place... and their numbers are way up.
How do you feel about contributing to the laziness epidemic while betraying the country's values doing so?
 
Dec 8, 2004
49,485
21,309
693
Maine
#6
Ya prob should not tell him that I also donate 20 trees every year to families in need... like last year had a family come down for a free tree as their house burned down. And no it wasn't a Christmas Tree fire...
 

lajikal

Registered User
Aug 6, 2009
16,437
3,932
373
#7
I yell at bums free of charge. Hey ya bum, get a job!
 

mascan42

Registered User
Aug 26, 2002
19,053
5,847
848
Ronkonkoma, Long Island
#8
The new Supplemental Poverty Measure is a “more complex statistic,” showing how much families spend on food, shelter, clothing and utilities, the bureau said. It finds that medical out-of-pocket expenses have the largest proportional effect on disposable income of any expense or benefit, and takes into account how geographic differences can alter housing costs.
So essentially, "more complex statistic" = changing the definition of "poverty" to include people that weren't before.
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
15,949
4,075
328
#10
So essentially, "more complex statistic" = changing the definition of "poverty" to include people that weren't before.
I don't know what their motives are, but yes, they are being fraudulent. There was already something called a "poverty rate", and now they named something else the "poverty rate", to deceive people into thinking the first poverty rate changed.

If they were being honest, they would name it something else. Then again, the people who called the first statistic a "poverty rate" were also being dishonest: the old statistic also defines poverty as a relative term (relative to what others make, in the country). But that's not the English language definition of poverty: it defines poverty as not having the bare essentials to survive.

According to the English language definition, if someone in Ukraine has the same material possessions as someone in the US, they're both either poor or rich. It's impossible for the Ukrainian to be rich, and the American to be poor.
 

Begbie

Wackbag Generalissimo
Jul 21, 2003
18,079
5,491
838
Wilmington, NC
#11
More Americans, and a greater percentage of the elderly, were poor in 2010 than the U.S. Census Bureau estimated in September