Poverty

The overall weighted average poverty threshold by size of the family unit.
The overall weighted average poverty threshold by size of the family unit.  

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Real Median Income Gained as Poverty Held Steady in 2007
Published Friday, July 24th, 2009

The new report on the US official poverty rate released by the US Census Bureau called “Income, poverty and health insurance coverage in the United States: 2007” has stated that real median household income in the United States climbed 1.3% between 2006 and 2007, reaching $50,233. The US official poverty rate in 2007 was 12.5% (37.3 million), which is steady from 2006 (36.5 million). This and other influences has lead the number of people without health insurance coverage to decline from 47 million (15.8%) in 2006 to 45.7 million (15.3%) in 2007.

Broken down, minorities also gained in real median income adjusted for inflation, which rose between 2006 and 2007 for black ($33,916 in 2007) and non-Hispanic white households ($54,920 in 2007), the first such increase since 1999. However, for Asians ($66,103 in 2007) and Hispanics ($38,679 in 2007) real income did not change. The family poverty rate and the number of families in poverty were 9.8% and 7.6 million, unchanged from 2006. As for Female-householders/No-Husband-Present the rate was 28.3% (a decrease of 2.8 percentage points) and 13.6% for those with male householder and no-wife-present. The US Office of management and budget has updated the weighted average poverty threshold for a family of four in 2007 as $21,203, for a family of 3 at $16,530, 2 at $13,540, and 1 at $10,590.

Posted in Jobs, Minorities, Poverty | No Comments »

Welfare Rolls Shrink from Some Hard Hit Areas
Published Friday, July 3rd, 2009

According to Health and Human Services, the welfare rolls have been rising in most states over the last year. In the some of the hardest-hit areas, one would think the rolls would raise the most; yet, the numbers are decreasing. Utah is leading the trend as rolls have increased by 29% more cases than last year. Yet, Michigan, a state facing the highest unemployment, has experienced 4.8% reductions in welfare rolls. Authorities suggest that some may be leaving the state for better prospects or the ones who are staying are receiving unemployment benefits. The usual assistance provided by unemployment puts many beyond the eligibility of welfare. Some advocates believe the strict provision of the 1996 revamp of Welfare System has slowed down applicant’s entry into welfare. Nationally, Texas, Georgia, Indiana, Alaska, Montana, New Jersey, and Nebraska all have falling rolls.

As of 2006, the most current data from the Current Population Reports, the Federal Poverty Threshold or poverty line for families of 4 rest at $20,614, an increase of nearly $5,000 from a decade ago. The most vulnerable, children, as of 1996 had experienced near 23% poverty rate; this had dropped to 15% by 2000 and increased after to 17% by 2006. Likewise, families experienced the same rate of decline and leveling to 10.8%; those with only female heads-of-households reached 30.7%.

Posted in Minorities, Poverty | No Comments »

Relief for Student Loan Suffers
Published Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Some relief has finally come to those struggling to pay off those student loans. New rules allow for borrowers to apply the plan to their remaining loan amount as of Wednesday, July 1st. Highlights include an income-based repayment plan that considers income and family size; also borrowers can set their monthly loan payment at 15% of their annual adjusted gross income. Plus, borrowers who make less than $16,245 — poverty level — would not be required to make any payments on their federal loans as long as their income remained at that level. Public Service also offers some relief as well in the form of loan forgiveness after 10 years of service. The Government increased the Pell Grants payouts from $619 to $5,350 — thanks to the Stimulus Act — for the 2009-2010 school year, decreased loan origination fees to 1% next July and cut interest rates from 6% to 5.6%.

The action is a result of several factors not the least of which includes skyrocketing tuition, which has reached $20,000 for a Private school and near $5,000 for public school in 2007. For 45% of Public college students and upwards to 60-75% of Private college students, the rise in tuition has resulted in loans to cover the cost of an education.  This has lead to an annual Federal Assistance borrowing of $92,484 million and places the US second in Higher Education spending among developed countries.

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Poverty Income Threshold Increases
Published Friday, February 27th, 2009

Those uninsured and working poor who are trying to qualify for public health programs have received an economic helping hand as the 2009 Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines were increased to reflect the increases in the Consumer Price Index. The Current Population Survey for 2009 has raised the poverty threshold—the dollar amount the Census Bureau uses to determine poverty status—for a family of 4 to $21,203. As a result, the number of citizens who can now qualify of free or low cost government health insurance has risen.

In 2007, more than 36.5 million people, about 12.5% of the U.S. population were living in poverty. The poverty threshold for 2009 has increased by 2.8% over the 2006 and 2007 thresholds. At the same time, since 1980, the Health Care Consumer Price Index has experienced annual increases ranging from $6.2 billion to the recent 2007 $14.9 billion climb.  This has resulted in the percentage of those uninsured to steadily rise to an average 15.3% of the total US population as health insurance prices rise to compensate. However, only 33% of the 47 million uninsured Americans are now eligible but are not signed up, which leaves 31.49 million without recourse to health care insurance.

Posted in Healthcare, Poverty | No Comments »

Learn More

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Poverty - http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/
The Department of Health and Human Services is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.

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The Department of Health and Human Services: Administration for Children and Families - http://www.acf.hhs.gov/
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a federal agency funding state, territory, local, and tribal organizations to provide family assistance (welfare), child support, child care, Head Start, child welfare, and other programs relating to children and families.