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US Poverty One in 11 families one in nine Americans and one in six children are officially poor The wealthiest fifth of the population received half of all household income last year The poorest fifth received 35 The official poverty line is an income of 18400 for a family of four A single parent of two working full-time for a minimum wage would make 10712 40 of homeless men are veterans Up to a fifth of Americas food worth 31 billion dollars goes to waste each year with 130lb of food per person ending up in landfills The United States recently experienced the longest period of economic expansion in its history Despite this growth poverty remains a persistent economic problem in America In 2000 the official rate of poverty was 113 percent Black and Hispanic people female-headed households and children experience particularly high rates of poverty relative to other groups Because of its persistence even in good times poverty can seem like an inevitable problem However government programs with federal funding including Social Security the Earned Income Tax Credit Medicaid and Food Stamps have achieved substantial reductions in poverty Studies indicate that a relatively small increase in resources for these types of programs could help eliminate a large percentage of poverty in the United States The number of Americans who live in poverty has risen for the second year in a row to 346 million an increase of almost 3 million people since 2000 The proportion of Americans living in poverty increased to 121 percent in 2002 Children remained the age group most likely to be poor with 167 percent of all children living in poverty up from 163 percent in 2001 Poverty is defined by the Census Bureau as a situation in which the annual income is less than 14494 for a parent and two children in 2002 By 2003 this number increased to 15260 You might ask who measures poverty in the US
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