The Income and Poverty in the United States annual report was released last week.  59 pages of census numbers and charts.   Probably not surprising that news outlets read the one page summary and not the entire report.  The summary was accurate and the report is good news.

  • Median household income rose by 5.2% making this the first annual increase since 2007.
  • Poverty declined by 1.2%, a decrease of 3.5 million people. 13.5% of America now lives under the poverty line ($24,300 for a family of four).
  • 2.4 million more people were employed.

That’s the news that was reported.  But here are three items that were not reported.

  • One number shot up by 6.5 million people! You know it – just ask your adult child living at home to Google it. 16 % of young adults aged 25 to 34 live at home with their parents and 39.4% of them would add to the poverty ranks if they did not.
  • 34.5% of the population had at least one spell of poverty between 2009 and 2012 lasting at least two months. That’s more than 1 in 3 Americans!
  • Only 2.7% of Americans remained in poverty for all 48 months between 2009 and 2012.

So what?

So poverty is nearer to us than we think – maybe in your basement. And often all it takes is someone providing assistance to break the cycle. 97.3% will break out with help. Many of the underlying issues that cause a spell of poverty or create barriers out of poverty are legal.

Help us break the cycle of poverty, provide self-sufficiency, and free people from legal burdens so they can flourish. Visit our new web site to learn more.

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