Census: 1 in 7 Americans Live in Poverty

September 16, 2010 - 10:51 AM

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A copy of a 2010 Census form. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Charlie Litchfield)

Washington (AP) - The number of people living in poverty has climbed to 14.3 percent of Americans, with the ranks of working-age poor reaching the highest level since at least 1965.

The Census Bureau says that about 43.6 million people, or 1 in 7, were in poverty last year. That's up from 39.8 million, or 13.2 percent, in 2008.

The number of people lacking health insurance rose from 46.3 million to 50.7 million, due mostly to the loss of employer-provided health insurance during the recession. Congress passed a health overhaul earlier this year to extend coverage to more people.

The statistics released Thursday cover President Barack Obama's first year in office, when unemployment climbed to 10 percent in the months after the financial meltdown.

The median -- or midpoint -- household income was $49,777.