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Poverty and the Working Class: Home

This guide provides information about poverty and the working class in America.


Definition of poverty

  1. 1a :  the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessionsb :  renunciation as a member of a religious order of the right as an individual to own property

  2. 2 :  scarcity, dearth

  3. 3a :  debility due to malnutritionb :  lack of fertility




Poverty in America Stats


The official poverty rate in 2015 was 13.5 percent, down 1.2 percentage points from 14.8 percent in 2014.

In 2015, there were 43.1 million people in poverty, 3.5 million less than in 2014.

The 2015 poverty rate was 1.0 percentage point higher than in 2007, the year before the most recent recession.

For most demographic groups, 2015 poverty rates and estimates of the number of people in poverty decreased from 2014.

Between 2014 and 2015, poverty rates decreased for all three major age groups. The poverty rate for children under age 18 dropped 1.4 percentage points, from 21.1 percent to 19.7 percent. Rates for people aged 18 to 64 dropped 1.1 percentage points, from 13.5 percent to 12.4 percent. Poverty rates for people aged 65 and older decreased 1.1 percentage points, from 10.0 percent to 8.8 percent.

US Cenus Bureau 2016

Map of Poverty in the US

Map: Poverty in the United States