Poverty in America revised to 1 of 6
One of six American live in poverty, a new report finds, leading to the implication that the US poverty level is even worse than first believed.
The National Academy of Science (NAS) formula calculates the poverty rate to be at 15.8 percent, or nearly 1 in 6 Americans, according to new estimates released this week. That's higher than the 13.2 percent, or 39.8 million, figure made available recently under the original US government formula, the Associated Press reports.
That government formula was created in 1955 and does not factor in the rising costs of medical care, transportation, child care or the geographical variations of living. Nor does it consider the non-cash governmental aid when calculating income.
According to the revised NAS formula, nearly 18.7 percent of Americans, 65 and older, or nearly 7.1 million, live in poverty, compared to the 9.7 percent, or 3.7 million figure, under the traditional formula. Approximately 14.3 percent of people 18 to 64, or 27 million, live in poverty in the US, compared to 11.7 percent under the traditional calculations. Many of the new poor are the low-income, working people with transportation and child-care costs.
Food stamp assistance is currently at an all-time high of about 36 million.