Every August, on what is unofficially known to policy nerds as “Poverty Day,” the U.S. Census Bureau releases its new statistics on poverty. These statistics track whether poverty rates have gone up or down over the last year, and reveal how particular demographic groups are faring. Check out this morning’s press release from the U.S. Census Bureau to see the new stats for 2007: Household Income Rises, Poverty Rate Unchanged, Number of Uninsured Down.
Although, as the Press Release title indicates, overall poverty percentage rates have remained relatively unchanged, the concrete numbers of Latinos, children, seniors, & Southerners living in poverty have gone up.
Although real median income for black and non-Hispanic white households rose, black households had the lowest median income in 2007 ($33,916), followed by Hispanics ($38,679). This compares to the median of $54,920 for non-Hispanic white households.
“Poverty Day” is a good time to ask oneself (and one’s representatives) why money is unequally distributed along race lines in the United States, and how that can be changed. Here’s some fuel for the conversation:
Persistent Race Disparities Found, by Stephen Ohlemacher. 11-14-08.
Racial Disparities, by The Urban Institute. 3-25-08.
Photo Credit – Olliehigh, Creative Commons.