Some States Saw Increases in Poverty Even Before Worst of Recession
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today’s Census Bureau report that 39.1 million Americans lived in poverty in 2008 is a stark reminder of the toll the recession was already taking on families even before the economic picture worsened this year.
The data, collected between January 2007 and November 2008, shows that some states were hit hard early by the recession, while in a few states with oil and gas industries, poverty temporarily declined when energy prices rose.??
“The number of people living in poverty has almost certainly risen dramatically in every state since this data was collected in 2007 and 2008,” said Deborah Weinstein, executive director of the Coalition on Human Needs. “The number of unemployed rose in every state in the country between last August and this August, and food stamp participation also rose in every state between June 2008 and June 2009.”??
The American Community Survey data released by the Census Bureau shows that between 2007 and 2008, child poverty increased in California, Connecticut, Florida, and Indiana, and fell in Alabama, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Nebraska, Data also shows that seven states (California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Oregon, and Pennsylvania) had increases in the number and percentage of all people in poverty between 2007 and 2008. http://chn.org/pdf/2009/2008ACStotalpoverty2000-08.pdf
?In Michigan, the poverty rate increased, but the number of people in poverty did not show a significant change.
?In a family of three, life at the poverty level means trying to provide children with a roof over their heads, adequate health care and a nutritious diet on an annual income of $17,163.??
Unemployment averaged 5.8 percent last year compared with the August rate of 9.7 percent.
The huge increase in poverty clearly points out the need for continuing aid to help the unemployed and states struggling to maintain vital services in the face of growing need. ??”We need to continue aid to support our fledgling economic recovery so that its full impact can be felt by all Americans. ??”If we invest in health care, education, and rebuilding communities, we will crea
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