1.2 Million Americans Climbed Out of Poverty in 2000
September 26, 2001
New data from the Census Bureau reveal that poverty declined in the U.S. last year -- leaving poverty rates for blacks and female heads of households at their lowest levels since record-keeping began in 1979.
- The number of people in poverty hit 31.1 million in 2000 -- down from 32.3 million in 1999.
- The poverty rate fell for the fourth consecutive year -- from 11.8 percent in 1999 to 11.3 percent in 2000, the lowest since 1979 and about the same as the lowest rate ever recorded.
- Median household income last year was $42,148 -- with the median for Hispanic households at $33,447 and for blacks at $30,439, both record numbers.
- A family of four was living in poverty if its annual income was below $17,603 -- while the poverty line for a single person stood at $8,794.
However, analysts say, the average poor person fell further below the poverty line in 1999 and 2000. They attributed the decline to cuts in food stamps and cash-assistance programs and to declining participation in those programs.
Source: Katherine Q. Seelye, "Poverty Rates Fell in 2000, But Income Was Stagnant," New York Times, September 26, 2001; based on Jospeh Dalaker, "Consumer Income, Poverty in the United States: 2000," Current Population Reports, September 25, 2001, U.S. Bureau of the Census.
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