Wednesday, July 31, 2013
12 Shocking Facts About Poverty In America
America has long been considered the land of opportunity. It has long been recognized as the wealthiest country in the world. But behind that healthy facade lurks a serious problem that keeps getting worse and for which no one seems to have a solution. That problem is called poverty.
For many, the term poverty always seems to be a condition that affects "other people" and not them. But the fact is that poverty is like a cancer that slowly spreads and attacks what was once healthy. Like cancer, no one is completely immune to it. It is affecting more and more people every month. Consider these 12 shocking facts about poverty and then ask yourself whether or not it is a serious problem in the U.S.
#1 - In 2008, 39.8 million Americans lived in poverty. In 2011, 46.2 million Americans lived in poverty. In 2012, 49.7 million Americans lived in poverty. It doesn't take a genius to do the math. Poverty is on the rise.
#2 - According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the poverty rate in the U.S. is now ranked third in the world among developed nations.
#3 - The number of families applying for food stamps increased 20.28 percent this year over the previous year. There are now 101 million Americans receiving food stamps from the federal government. This is a third of the entire population.
#4 - The number of Americans receiving federal food assistance is now greater than the number of full-time workers in the private sector.
#5 - Over the past 19 months alone, June set an all-time record high for the number of Americans receiving food stamps.
#6 - At the end of 2009, there were 48.5 million people on Medicaid, the government program that provides comprehensive coverage to low-income, uninsured families. That equates to one out of every six people. Today, there are more than 50 million Americans on Medicaid.
#7 - Home foreclosures are increasing. In 2010, one out of every ten home mortgages were either delinquent on payments or already in foreclosure. In May of 2013, many states were experiencing foreclosure rates as high as twice the national average.
#8 - Unemployment is four times higher than it was in 2007. There are now 11.8 million people unemployed in the United States.
#9 - One out of every six American families is receiving federal benefits for at least one anti-poverty program.
#10 - In 2012, 80 percent of American families had at least one family member who was unemployed.
#11 - By the end of June, bankruptcies over the past 12 months increased by 20 percent.
#12 - Children living in poverty has now reached one out of every five in the U.S.