(CN) – The latest U.S. Census report says that wages are dropping and poverty is rising in America. While the number without health insurance grew by a million in the space of a year.
The Cenus Bureau reported this week that real median household income in the U.S. fell 3.6 percent between 2007 and 2008, from $52,163 to $50,303. That is the first downturn in three years prior to the current recession, which began late in 2007.
The poverty rate correspondingly increased. In figures adjusted for inflation, the percentage of people living below the poverty line was 13.2 percent in 2008, with an enormous number of people — 39.8 million — living in poverty in the midst of the richest nation on earth.
That figure is even worse than the 2007 number of 12.5 percent, representing 37.3 million people.
The census also concluded in its report that the number of people without health insurance rose by almost a million from 2007 to 2008, but remained at 15.4% of the growing population.
The foreign born population experienced an increase of 300,000 people living in poverty from 2007 to 2008, while the number of poor, native-born Americans jumped up by 2.2 million.
The Office of Management and Budget has determined the average poverty line for a family of four in 2008 was $22,025; for a family of three, $17,163; for a family of two, $14,051; and for unrelated individuals, $10,991.
In 2008, the poverty rates increased for whites by .4, Asians 1.6 percent, and Hispanics 1.7. The poverty rate in 2008 was statistically unchanged for blacks.