Nearly 38 million Americans living in poverty
According to the latest report from the United States Census Bureau, 37.9 million Americans live in poverty, or 11.6% of the total population, even as the United States ranks first among nations. wealthiest in the world in terms of GDP.
“Poverty and economic insecurity are widespread,” Shailly Gupta Barnes, policy director at the Kairos Center for Religion, Rights and Social Justice, told CNBC.
The number reported by the Census Bureau is based on the official measure of poverty, which has been virtually unchanged since the mid-1960s.
Grace Bonilla, president of the United Way of New York, said the official measure of poverty does not take into account important indicators, such as family composition or the cost of childcare.
The Census Bureau developed the Supplemental Poverty Measure in 2011 as an improvement over the existing measure. It incorporates the cost of basic needs like food, clothing, as well as geographic differences and household size.
But Bonilla says that’s not enough. “It’s a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t really give us an accurate count of poverty in the United States,” she said.
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